On March 29th an Air Canada Airbus A320, flight AC624, on a domestic flight between Toronto and Halifax (Nova Scotia), exited the runway while landing at Halifax International Airport.
The ‘plane carrying 133 passengers and five crew members landed so violently that its landing gear collapsed, causing it to slide off the runway, following which, an engine was torn off and a wing seriously damaged.
All persons on board evacuated using the aircraft's emergency slides. The 23 passengers and members of the crew who were slightly injured during the landing, were transported to regional hospitals. At present one person remains hospitalized.
Given the state of the A320 after landing, the worst had been avoided. Air Canada’s Executive Vice President and COO, Klaus Goersch, is highly reassured.
"We are greatly relieved that no one was injured seriously. Nevertheless, we are fully aware that this experience has been very troubling for our passengers and their families, and for our employees. We are now we taking care of all those affected."
An investigation to determine the cause of the accident was opened by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB), with whom the Canadian airline is "co-operating fully".
While it is still too early to know the precise reasons for this violent landing, bad weather could have been partly to blame due to heavy snowfalls in the Halifax area at the time. The local weather service had also issued a reduced visibility alert.
Air Canada has established a telephone number for the families of flight AC624 passengers: 1 800 961-7099.
After being closed for several hours, Halifax airport resumed operations during the same day of 29th March, with the re-opening of a single runway. The second runway, where the Air Canada A320 came to rest, will remain closed for several days more to allow time for the investigators to carry out their work, after which, the technical teams will be allowed to remove the aircraft.