PHOTO: Air Canada. (Photo via Flickr/TM Wolf)
Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has deployed a team of investigators to Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), after an Air Canada plane reportedly slid off the runway early Saturday morning.
Flight 623, with 119 passengers on board, was en route from Halifax to Toronto when it landed shortly after midnight. According to passenger accounts, the flight suffered a hard landing. Isabelle Arthur, a media relations manager for Air Canada, has said the “landing gear left the runway for a short distance before it returned to the runway,” according to the CBC.
Passenger Paul Varian, who said the plane landed heavily, was quoted as saying, “nothing that I would say was traumatically heavily. We just landed quite heavily on the tarmac and the plane lurched a bit to the left. Then the pilot applied heavy brakes. That threw everyone forward a bit.”
Although Toronto is being affected by rain and foggy conditions, the TSB said it is too early to determine the cause of what the TSB is calling a “runway excursion.”
No injuries are being reported, but local firefighters were called to the scene. Passengers were held in the plane for about an hour and a half before deplaning on the runway and being bused to the terminal. Air Canada has said it provided passengers with hotel accommodations and limousine service for those who wished to return home.
Varian said the passengers remained calm throughout the incident.
"This is Canada,” he said. “Everyone was so polite and nice and accommodating."