Air Canada plane crash lands at Halifax airport, injures 23



Twenty-three people have been injured when an Air Canada jet struck an antenna and crash landed as it attempted to touch down in heavy snow at Halifax airport.

All but one of the injured were later released from hospital following the incident.

The airline said on Twitter that flight AC624 from Toronto “exited runway upon landing at Halifax. All passengers have deplaned, going to terminal”.

Pictures showed the nose of the plane sliced off, its landing gear collapsed and at least one engine badly mangled.

Passengers said the plane had circled over the airport before coming in to land and had “bounced” upon impact, shortly after midnight on Sunday.

Investigators were probing what caused the incident, but heavy snow was falling in the eastern Canadian city and Environment Canada had issued a snowfall alert, warning of low visibility.

Transportation Safety Board investigator Mike Cunningham told a press conference the plane had struck an antenna array approximately 350 metres before the start of the runway.

The collision caused “significant damages to the aircraft”, he said, ripping off the landing gear.

Halifax Airport said 23 people were taken to hospital for observation and treatment of minor injuries, though 18 were released within hours.

There were 132 passengers and five crew onboard the flight, which departed from Toronto at 9:05 pm (local time).

TSB investigators have recovered the black box flight recorders for analysis of cockpit exchanges with air traffic control and flight data.

Like the doomed Germanwings flight, the Air Canada plane involved in Sunday’s incident was an Airbus A320.

Halifax airport spokesman Peter Spurway said power was out at the airport at the time of the incident, but said it was unclear whether there was an impact on the situation.

“We did lose power, we’re not sure if the two incidents are connected. They may be but we’re not sure,” Mr Spurway said.

Back-up generators were running when the flight landed and the runways were lit, he added.