Air Canada Plane Skids Off Runway

25 people were taken to a hospital, but injuries were minor
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 29, 2015 7:52 AM CDT
Air Canada Plane Skids Off Runway
Passengers Randy Hall, left, and Lianne Clark, from Mount Uniacke, Canada stand waiting at an airport hotel after Air Canada flight 624 left the runway on landing at Stanfield International Airport.   (Andrew Vaughan)

An Air Canada plane made an "abrupt" landing and skidded off the runway at the Halifax airport in bad weather at 12:35am local time today. The airport said 25 passengers were taken to a hospital for observation and treatment of minor injuries, while Air Canada said 23 passengers and crew were injured. Flight AC624, an Airbus 320 that left Toronto late yesterday, had 138 aboard. "We are thankful no serious injuries have been reported," Halifax Stanfield International Airport tweeted. Airport spokesman Peter Spurway said the aircraft touched down in stormy conditions: "It came down pretty hard and then skidded off the runway." He said he didn't know whether runway conditions played a role. Power went off at the airport, which meant an emergency response center had to be moved to a nearby hotel, Spurway said.

The cause of the outage was not clear (power has since been restored), but one person who was aboard the plane gave a possible explanation: Mike Magnus, a businessman who was sitting in the first row, told the AP the aircraft was at the "furthest tip of the airport" when it stopped. He said he heard that the plane may have clipped a power line that caused the power outage at the airport. "It was so chaotic at the time. I'm pretty sure the landing gear broke on it. The engine on my side popped off," the 60-year-old said by phone from Halifax. He added that the snow that covered the runway likely deadened any sparks that may have caused a fire and engulfed the plane. "The snow caused it and the snow saved it," he said. "I'm safe and that's all that matters. I'm going to have a glass of wine." (Read more Air Canada stories.)

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