Saturday, 6 January 2018

Ground collision at Toronto Pearson causes delays

A major incident occurred at Toronto's Pearson airport where a WestJet Boeing 737-800 that had recently arrived from Cancun was waiting to proceed to its gate when it was struck by a Sunwing aircraft being pushed back. 

This incident took place at approximately 6.30pm local time on Friday evening on the apron around terminal 3.  The WestJet aircraft had been on the ground for around twenty minutes, waiting for a gate to be opened up when it was struck on its wing by the tail of the Sunwing aircraft - which that caught fire. From images shared on social media it appears the fire on the Sunwing aircraft was contained within the APU. 

There were 168 passengers and 6 crew on the WestJet aircraft at the time of the collision and they were evacuated via the emergency slides to the apron. Emergency crews raced to the area at terminal three and put out the fire. 

WestJet issued the following statement 
WestJet has confirmed that WS2425, a Boeing 737-800 with 168 guests and six crew onboard, inbound from Cancun to Toronto Pearson, while waiting to proceed to the gate and stationary, was struck by a Sunwing aircraft pushing back from the gate.    

Due to the position of the aircraft on the laneway, WestJet guests required evacuation via emergency slide. Emergency crews were on hand and responded immediately.  WestJet is in direct contact with the Transportation Safety Board, the GTAA and the various emergency agencies responsible for responding to, and investigating, this incident.  All 168 guests and six crew are accounted for. We can confirm guests are safely in the terminal.  
Some flights departing from and arriving at terminal 3 have been affected, although a spokesperson for the airport advised that other flights were operating as normal.

The Sunwing aircraft was not operating a passenger flight at the time of pushback, the travel company tweeted the following statement "There were no Sunwing crew or passengers onboard at the time of the incident.  We are awaiting further information from Swissport and will provide more details as they become available."

An investigation is currently underway. 

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