Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
Markets | By Erika Turner

Planes collide at Toronto Airport, fire forces evacuation

Planes collide at Toronto Airport, fire forces evacuation

Passengers were forced to evacuate via emergency slides in the frigid cold on Friday night after two planes collided on the ground at Toronto's Pearson International Airport.

Swissport, the ground crew that was towing the Sunwing plane, apologized for the accident, but maintained that it was operating under all safety regulations.

Calgary-based Westjet said it had unconfirmed reports of "minor injuries" in the incident, but that all 168 passengers and six crew members on board its plane were safe and accounted for.

Instagram user Stephen Belford posted a video from inside Westjet's Boeing, showing a fire and shaken passengers as the crew prepared the evacuation.

No passengers or crew were hurt, but Beverly MacDonald, a spokesperson for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, said an airport firefighter was hospitalized with unspecified injuries.

Gustavo Lobo, a passenger on the WestJet flight, said passengers heard a crunch when the other aircraft collided with it. "After a couple of seconds the entire thing ignited and it was chaos inside the plane".

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'People screaming and panicking all while the flight attendants shouted to try and control the situation'.

"Due to the position of the aircraft on the laneway, Westjet guests required evacuation via emergency slide".

A spokesman for the Transportation Safety Board, a Canadian agency that investigates transportation incidents, said that a team was headed to the airport to investigate.

Sunwing said the incident was caused by ground handlers working for Swissport, a third party company.

The collision happened around 6:15 p.m. when an empty Sunwing aircraft being towed hit a WestJet plane that had just arrived at Terminal 3 from Cancun and was waiting to park.

Westjet has confirmed that all the passengers and crew were evacuated safely.

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