compiled by Dee Finney


Passenger jet in flames at Toronto airport

Air France - airbus 340 , flight 358 News Staff


A passenger jet burst into flames after skidding off the runway at Toronto's Pearson International Airport.

There is no word on any casualties and the number of passengers was not immediately available.

But Sgt. Glyn Griffiths confirmed reports that some of those on board had escaped the wreckage, saying an unspecified number of people have been taken to hospital and that some have been picked up after being found walking along the nearby highway.

Griffiths indicated the aircraft was an Air France jet that was trying to land when it ran into trouble.

"An Air France plane landing on runway 2-4 left went off the end of the runway the area of Convert Drive and the 401 area in Mississauga," said Griffiths.

Griffiths couldn't say whether there were any injuries or if any passengers had been removed from the plane, but said there's been a full response by all emergency vehicles.

Air France has not released a statement, but a ticket agent with the airline told Reuters that the burning plane is an A340 airbus that was travelling from Paris to Toronto.

Live television pictures showed flames and smoke billowing from the aircraft in a wooded area just metres from Highway 401 -- Canada's busiest highway -- near the airport. A section of the plane's wing could be seen jutting from the trees.

CTV Toronto's Jim Junkin reports that 200 people are thought to have been on board.

Severe storms were hitting the area at the time of the accident. Eyewitnesses reported seeing lightning hit the plane before it burst into flames.

The Greater Toronto Airport Authority is expected to hold a press conference sometime after 5 p.m. ET.


Passenger jet on fire at Pearson airport
Last updated Aug 2 2005 05:34 PM EDT
CBC News
An Air France jet with 200 people aboard has skidded off a runway while landing at Toronto's Pearson International Airport, bursting into flames and sending thick black smoke pouring into the air.


There is no word on the condition of the passengers and crew members on board the A340, with the plane still burning 90 minutes after the 3:50 p.m. crash.

The jet crashed through barriers and ended up in a small ravine at the far west end of the airport, the fuselage tipped down and the aircraft's tail in the air.

The airplane was trying to land in bad weather when it skidded off the runway into a forested area just metres from one of Toronto's busiest roads, Highway 401.

Many passengers reportedly escaped the scene and were rescued near the highway.

One news service reported the flight to be Air France flight number 358, a Paris-based flight which had earlier stopped in Montreal.

"An Air France plane landing on runway 24 went off the end of the runway in the area of Convair Drive and the 401 area in Mississauga," Peel police Sgt. Glyn Griffiths said at about 4:30 p.m.

The incident happened as most operations at the airport were halted because of severe thunderstorms in the area.

"There was quite a downpour. The visibility was really bad, with lots of lightning," said John Findlay, a CBC News journalist who was at the airport at the time of the accident.

Pearson airport has been closed an all incoming flights have been rerouted from Toronto to Ottawa.

Plane burns after skidding off runway in Toronto


August 2, 2005, 5:27 PM EDT
TORONTO -- A passenger jetliner carrying about 200 people erupted in flames Tuesday after skidding off a runway while landing in a fierce thunderstorm at Toronto's Pearson International Airport. Black smoke billowed into the air as the wreck burned.

A Toronto radio station said some passengers were seen climbing from the plane, and that most of the others had been safely evacuated.
Police said the plane was an Air France A340 from Paris that was trying to land when it ran into trouble. There was a storm -- with lightning and strong wind gusts -- in the area at the time.

There was no immediate word from officials on casualties.

AM 680, an all-news station, reported live from the scene that there were two explosions on the plane. The station quoted a police official on the nearby freeway as saying two groups of passengers had been evacuated from the jet.

AM 680 also said some passengers could be seen climbing from the plane and that emergency workers said most of 252 people on board were safe.

The report could not immediately be confirmed.

A row of emergency vehicles lined up behind the wreck, and a fire truck sprayed the flames with water.

A portion of the plane's wing could be seen jutting from the trees as smoke and flames poured from the middle of its broken fuselage. At one point, another huge plume of smoke emerged from the wreckage, but it wasn't clear whether it was from an explosion.

The flaming ruin was next to the four-lane Highway 401, Canada's busiest highway, and some cars and trucks stopped on the roadway after the crash.

CNN reported the flight was Air France Flight 358, which was scheduled to arrive in Toronto at about 4 p.m. from Charles de Gaulle International Airport near Paris.

"They made an approach in weather that was worse than what they anticipated," John Wiley, a retired Airbus pilot in Toronto, told CNN.

Leah Walker, a radio reporter in Toronto, said she saw a third of the plane fall and that the rest became a fireball. "This plane attempted to land in some very fierce weather we had today," she said.

Thunderstorms create the possibility of wind shear, the sudden, dangerous air currents that can dash an airplane to the ground as it takes off or lands.

The last major jumbo jet crash in North America was on Nov. 12, 2001, when American Airlines Flight 587 lost part of its tail and plummeted into a New York City neighborhood, killing 265 people. Safety investigators concluded that the crash was caused by the pilot moving the rudder too aggressively.

Nobody died in plane crash, says Canadian government
03/08/2005 - 02:06:11 

A Canadian government official said it appeared that eveyone on the Air France A340 flight from Paris that burst into flames in Toronto yesterday has survived.

Around 14 people are thought to have suffered minor injuries.

A jetliner carrying more than 300 skidded off a runway while landing in a thunderstorm at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

Steve Shaw, a vice president of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority, said there were 297 passengers and 12 crew aboard the plane. He said the jet overshot the runway by 200 yards and that he believed the fire broke out after the passengers were evacuated.

Air France also announced in Paris that there were no deaths in the crash.

Officials said the plane was an Air France A340 from Paris that was trying to land at Canada’s busiest airport just after 4pm (8pm GMT) when it ran into trouble. There was a storm – with lightning and strong wind gusts – in the area at the time.

A man who identified himself as a survivor, Olivier Dubos, told CTV the lights in the plane went out a minute before the landing. “It was scary, really, really scary.”

He said some passengers scrambled onto nearby Highway 401, where cars stopped, picked them up and took them to the airport. Two busloads of passengers were taken to an airport medical centre.

Another passenger, Roel Bramar, told Canadian Broadcasting Corporation: “I saw lightning, maybe the plane had already been hit by lightning that’s because just as we landed the lights went off.

“I got the idea the pilot wanted to lower the plane as soon as possible because there was such a rough storm,” he said.

A row of emergency vehicles lined up behind the wreck, and a fire truck sprayed the flames with water. A government transportation highway camera recorded the burning plane, and the footage was broadcast live on television in Canada and the US.

A portion of the plane’s wing could be seen jutting from the trees as soke and flames poured from the middle of its broken fuselage. At one point, another huge plume of smoke emerged from the wreckage, but it wasn’t clear whether it was from an explosion.

The flaming ruin was next to the four-lane Highway 401, and some cars and trucks stopped on the roadway after the crash.

Corey Marks told CNN he was at the side of the highway when he watched the Air France plane touch down and crash.

“It was around 4 o’clock, it was getting really dark, and all of a sudden lightning was happening. A lot of rain was coming down,” Marks said.

“This plane ... came in on the runway, hits the runway nice. Everything looked good, sounds good and all of a sudden we heard the engines backing up. He went straight into the valley and cracked in half.”

Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport handles over 28m passengers a year.

Located 17 miles west of Toronto in the town of Mississauga, it has three terminals. Air France operates out of Terminal 3.

Tue, July 26, 2005
Runway disaster averted

Plane skids to halt after flaming engine blows during takeoff
By ROB LUDLOW, Ottawa Sun

armac at Ottawa's airport lastht after a fiery blowout in the

Passengers are crediting the quick action of the flight crew for averting possible disaster last night as an Air Canada Airbus A320 aborted its takeoff after blowing an engine.

Vancouver-bound Flight 139 was almost at takeoff speed more than halfway down the runway at 6:55 p.m. when there was a "pop" from the right engine, said passenger Peter Simpson, who was seated on the left side just behind the wing.

He said the aircraft, believed to be carrying about 120 passengers, seemed to lose speed and the pilot immediately deployed the flaps and started braking, said Simpson.

"The flaps went straight up and we roared to a stop," he said.

"The pilot immediately came on the intercom and apologized and announced they had lost an engine on takeoff," he said.

"There was a problem that caused them to basically abort takeoff," airport spokeswoman Krista Kealey confirmed last night, noting that nobody was injured.

"I really admire what the pilot did," said Simpson. "He was wonderful. He stopped it almost on a dime. It was expertly done. The guy (the pilot) deserves all the credit.

"There was no B.S. He told us exactly what had happened and what was going to happen."


Simpson said the plane's tires were shredded in the emergency stop and firefighters had fans under the aircraft to cool the overheated wheels and brakes.

Air Canada spokeswoman Laura Cooke said the pilot noticed an engine indication light come on during takeoff.

"As a precaution, he rejected takeoff and as a result the aircraft came to an abrupt stop on the runway which put, obviously, pressure on the brakes and tires," she said.

Ottawa Fire platoon chief Dave Stevenson said they were called to assist airport fire crews with overheated brakes and tires but it turned out they weren't needed.

"It had the potential to be worse than it was," he said.

Simpson said they were told there was no danger of fire and everyone on board was "extremely calm." The cabin crew told them there was no need to evacuate.

The flight originated in Halifax and stopped in Ottawa to pick up passengers and change the crew before continuing to Vancouver.

Buses took the passengers to the terminal at about 9 p.m.

Simpson said he saw skid marks about 100 metres long with only about one-third of the runway remaining.

He said the captain told him later that the runway was spewed with engine parts after something disintegrated in the right engine.

Kealey said the incident occurred on the airport's main 10,000-ft. Runway 32. While it isn't clear how long it would take to remove the disabled aircraft and engine debris, it shouldn't affect traffic because the second runway was still usable.

Erica Heaphy, 19, was flying for the first time with her parents and several other family members to a wedding anniversary in Vancouver and was sitting just behind the wing when the engine blew.


"I was freaking out before it happened but when I saw the flames, I was really freaking out," she said. "I just saw a bunch of orange."

Nine-year-old Sydney Rainboth said she was more bored than scared.

"We waited on the plane for two hours. It was so boring," she said. "I wasn't scared at all."

Airline investigators probe runway mishap


Air Canada can't say yet what caused an engine on an Airbus A320 to fail just before takeoff from the Ottawa airport Monday night.

"At this point, I don't have any confirmation concerning the cause of the incident," said Air Canada spokeswoman Laura Cooke. "It's too soon to say."

Yesterday, maintenance crews prepared the aircraft for a replacement engine being brought in from Montreal.

Cooke said the first priority is to repair the aircraft and then investigate the failed engine to isolate the cause.

"The first order of business is to change the engine on the aircraft and then take a closer look at the engine and potentially involve the manufacturer to determine what, if anything, needs to be addressed further," she said.


As part of the investigation, the pilot and first officer will be interviewed. Cooke couldn't say when the Airbus had last been serviced.

"All of our aircraft are maintained and serviced according to transport regulation and beyond," said Cooke.

However, investigators will be looking at all possibilities. Bird strikes and foreign objects and debris on the runway sucked into the engine can also cause failures, especially in the critical takeoff phase.

Passengers credited the quick and decisive action of the pilot in aborting the takeoff after an engine failure light came on halfway down the runway. The abrupt stop caused the tires to shred and the brakes to overheat. There were no injuries.

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