Air Canada flight crash lands in Halifax after landing gear ripped out


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Oct 26, 2009
Air Canada flight crash lands in Halifax after landing gear ripped out
First posted: Sunday, March 29, 2015 12:59 AM EDT | Updated: Sunday, March 29, 2015 01:23 PM EDT
An Airbus A320 that crash-landed at Halifax airport early Sunday came in short of the runway and had its landing gear ripped out after hitting an "antenna array," a Transportation Safety Board (TBS) spokesman said.
Mike Cunningham, TSB regional manager of aircraft accident investigations, said Sunday evening that Air Canada Flight 624 then skidded on its belly for 1,100 feet and lost an engine before finally coming to a stop.
"An engine did detach from the aircraft," Cunningham told a news conference, "and there's quite a bit of debris from the point of impact.
"We believe a power line was also severed and the airport lost power."
All but one of the 23 passengers admitted to local hospitals for treatment after Flight 624 skidded off the runway have now been released. Most had minor injuries.
"They touched down 1,100 feet (335 metres) short of the runway, so I'd say they're pretty lucky," Cunningham said, adding that weather could have been a factor.
He said when the plane landed short it hit an antenna array and "this caused considerable damage to the aircraft and the main landing gear came off at that point."
The Airbus was flying from Toronto to Halifax carrying 133 passengers and five crew.
"We at Air Canada are greatly relieved that no one was critically injured. Yet we fully appreciate this has been a very unsettling experience for our customers and their families, as well as our employees, and we are focused on caring for all those affected. We will also fully co-operate with the Transportation Safety Board as it begins an investigation to determine the cause," Air Canada CEO Klaus Goersch said in a statement.
Some passengers on board Flight 624 say the plane hit a power line while descending. Local media reported it was snowing heavily when the accident occurred at around 12:43 a.m. local time.
Halifax Stanfield International Airport spokesperson Peter Spurway told The Halifax Chronicle Herald that "an airplane made a bad landing.”
“When I saw the engine on fire, in my head, I thought we had three or four seconds to live,” passenger Dennis Lavoie told QMI Agency. “Flames were coming out of the engine.
"Everyone hit the seat in front of them. Some of them had broken noses or severe cuts. The plane bounced and hit the ground again and slid.”
Lavoie said the aircraft hadn't slowed much when it hit.
“Some people said we would hit the power lines,” he said, adding that the flight attendants did a great job.
When he was getting out of the plane after it stopped, “we weren't sure it was safe.
"We wanted to get off quickly because of the crash, the fire and fuel. I saw the engine was torn off and was 300 metres from the plane.”
Dominic Stettler told the Chronicle Herald, “I think we hit a power cable, there was a lot of sparks.
“We hit the ground, we came up and then we slid on the runway for quite a long time. We just kicked the doors out and jumped onto the wing and then ran because we just wanted to get away from the airplane in case of explosions or anything.”
Cpl. Greg Church of the RCMP told the paper that a power line south of the runway outside airport property was damaged. It added that Nova Scotia Power couldn’t be reached for comment on what caused the damage.
The airline said it will provide regular updates on Twitter (@AirCanada) and on
Family members looking for information about passengers on Flight AC 624 can call 1-800-961-7099.
-- With files from Reuters
Air Canada flight crash lands in Halifax after landing gear ripped out | Canada
scare Canada :shock:
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