Collision between 2 planes at Pearson sparks flames, prompts evacuation
Kayla Goodfield, CP24.com
Published Friday, January 5, 2018 7:51PM EST
Last Updated Friday, January 5, 2018 9:48PM EST
A collision involving two planes on the tarmac at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport sparked flames and prompted an emergency evacuation on Friday evening.
The incident took place at Terminal 3 at around 6:30 p.m.
WestJet said 168 passengers and six crew members were onboard their aircraft that was travelling from Cancun to Toronto. Sunwing said their plane was under tow at the time of the incident and no crew members or passengers were onboard.
One passenger suffered a minor injury to their back in the incident but no other injuries were reported, Peel Paramedics said.
The WestJet plane was waiting to proceed to an open gate on the tarmac when it was struck by a Sunwing plane that was pushing back from a gate, a statement issued by WestJet said.
“Due to the position of the aircraft on the laneway, WestJet guests required evacuation via emergency slide,” the statement said.
A passenger onboard the evacuated plane, Alejandro Lobo, told CP24 he saw the smoke from the wing of the plane that shortly ignited into flames.
“We were just sitting on the plane and we had been waiting for like 20 minutes and the pilot comes on the line and said ‘we’re waiting for them to open up a gate for us,’” he said.
“Not even five minutes later we heard a crunch and the plane rocked slightly and we all look out the window and we see a plane had backed up into us and rammed their tail-end directly into our wing and it was all cracked and mangled.”
Lobo said everyone started screaming and getting out of their seats.
A witness of the crash, who did not want to be identified, described the scene as “pandemonium” while speaking with CP24 on Friday.
“As soon as the Sunwing (plane) hit the WestJet (plane) it caught on fire and everyone started running,” she said. “The emergency procedures were put into place. The fire crews rushed in. There was a really crazy scene.”
“I’m assuming they were coming from a warmer climate because everyone was in short sleeve t-shirts so as soon as they had to evacuate they were freezing and kids were crying and people were hysterical. There were people having panic attacks outside in the cold.”
She said all passengers were then immediately brought inside to the airport.
The Greater Toronto Airports Authority told CP24 that operations at Terminal 3 will be impacted as an investigation is being conducted.
“Fire and emergency services have responded to the incident and extinguished a fire on the Sunwing aircraft,” the statement said.
The Transportation Safety Board has also been called in to investigate the incident.