Fire Erupts as Airliners Collide at Toronto’s Pearson Airport

By Reuters
January 6, 2018Canada
Fire Erupts as Airliners Collide at Toronto’s Pearson Airport
Emergency services arrive at a site where two planes collided at Toronto's Pearson Airport, Canada, Jan. 5, 2018 in this still image taken from a social media video. (John-Ross Parks/via Reuters

Dozens of passengers were evacuated from an aircraft at Toronto’s Pearson Airport on Friday, after a plane under tow struck an arriving jet that was waiting to park, sparking a small fire, the airport authority said.

Footage of the incident shows passengers screaming as the fire broke out.

Fire and emergency services responded to the collision between the two planes from Sunwing Airlines and Westjet Airlines, which happened at 6:19 p.m. local time, the Greater Toronto Airport Authority said in a statement.

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.

Passenger Adrianna Lobo said the incident was “really scary.”

NTD Photo
An explosion is seen through a window of a plane that has collided with another plane at Toronto’s Pearson Airport, Canada, Jan. 5, 2018 in this still image taken from social media video. (@STEPHEN_BELFORD/via Reuters)
NTD Photo
(@STEPHEN_BELFORD/via Reuters)

“When you see all the fire and the smoke and everybody standing, people didn’t know what to do,” she told CTV.

The jet, a Boeing 737-800, had just arrived in Toronto from the resort of Cancun, Mexico, and was waiting to proceed to the gate at the time of the collision, Westjet said.

A video posted to social media shows one of the planes spewing gas before igniting.

Video contains strong language

Sunwing, part of the privately held Sunwing Travel Group, said there were no passengers or crew onboard its plane at the time of the collision, and that the aircraft was being towed by ground handler Swissport International Ltd.

A spokesman for the Transportation Safety Board, Canada’s transportation regulator, said that a team was headed to the airport to investigate.

By Julie Gordon in Vancouver and Jim Finkle in Toronto

The Epoch Times contributed to this report

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