Two jets collided on the ground at Toronto Pearson International airport on Friday night, setting the tail of one aircraft alight and prompting passengers to evacuate the other via an emergency slide. A WestJet Boeing 737 had just arrived back from Cancun, Mexico, collided with an empty Sunwing aircraft, which was being pushed back by third party ground handlers.
After collision the airport said all WestJet passengers were safely at the terminal, adding that one of the airport’s fire and emergency service personnel was undergoing hospital treatment. In fact, “after a couple of seconds the entire thing ignited and it was chaos inside the plane; people screaming and panicking all while the flight attendants shouted to try and control the situation,” a WestJet passenger told to media.
A clip on Instagram showed flames erupting from the Sunwing aircraft, sending black smoke spewing into the frigid night air. WestJet said on Twitter that the Boeing 737-800 plane had 168 guests and six crew on-board, and had arrived in Toronto via Cancun. It required evacuation via emergency slide. In a statement posted on its social media pages Sunwing said “there were no Sunwing crew or passengers on-board at the time of the incident,” adding that its aircraft had been “under tow by our ground handling service provider” prior to the collision. The Transportation Safety Board had arrived at the scene and launched an investigation.