Toronto Pearson collision sparks fire

Avatar for Ben ForrestBy Ben Forrest | January 8, 2018

Estimated reading time 2 minutes, seconds.

A collision on the ground between two airliners at Toronto Pearson International Airport sparked a small fire and reportedly left one person injured on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018.

At 6:19 p.m. on Friday, a Sunwing aircraft under tow made contact with an arriving WestJet flight waiting to park on the Terminal 3 apron at Toronto Pearson, according to a Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) news release.

Crews from Fire and Emergency Services (FES) responded and extinguished a small fire on the Sunwing aircraft, which was not carrying passengers, GTAA said.

One member of FES was taken to hospital and treated for injuries sustained in the incident, according to the Toronto Star. The nature of the injuries was not disclosed.

The WestJet aircraft, a Boeing 737-800 inbound from Cancun to Toronto, was carrying168 guests and six crew, who were evacuated safely using emergency slides.

No one onboard the WestJet flight was injured.

Some flight operations at Terminal 3 were impacted by the incident, but otherwise airport operations were unaffected, the GTAA said.

A cell phone video posted to Instagram captured passengers in the WestJet plane screaming in apparent panic as the blaze erupted.

The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) deployed a team of investigators to gather information and assess the incident, but no findings have been released.

A TSB spokesperson said the investigation will examine whether a major airline followed its evacuation protocols, according to Canadian Manufacturing.

“Certainly we would look into the evacuation procedures,” the spokesperson reportedly said. “We would look at the procedures in place at the Toronto Pearson Airport with respect to ground handling operations …. These are all elements of information we will be gathering as part of the investigation.”

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