Cargo plane skids off runway in Halifax

Irving Hamilton
November 9, 2018

Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press The airport activated its emergency operations centre and suspended all flights after the incident where the 747 cargo plane with five people on board went off the runway.

All four people on board survived and are being treated for minor injuries, Halifax Airport says.

"It's believed to have gone off the end of the runway upon landing", airport spokesperson Theresa Rath Spicer said in a phone interview.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known.

While it's the shorter of the two runways at the airport, cargo flights arrive and depart from there on a regular basis, she said.

The plane wound up on a slight incline far off the runway, about 50 metres from a fence marking the airport perimeter.

Two of the engines also appeared to be heavily damaged with the two other engines completely sheared off.

Pictures posted on social media show that the aircraft has a cracked fuselage and is heavily damaged.

An aluminum ladder trailed from an open main door near the front of the aircraft.

"We are very proud of our safety record", she said.

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She said the Transportation Safety Board would be involved in an investigation to determine what happened.

The deputy chief for Halifax Fire said the jet was not on fire and crews were attending the scene in a support role along with airport fire crews.

The airport resumed operations three hours after the accident but dozens of flights were delayed or cancelled.

The company operating it, Sky Lease Cargo, has been carrying seafood from the eastern province of Nova Scotia for sale in China.

As part of the airport's emergency procedures, RCMP, local police, Halifax fire services and medical response teams were called in.

The airport said it handled 34,051 tonnes of cargo in 2017.

Officials with First Catch refused to comment on Wednesday.

It is at least the third serious incident at Stanfield in 15 years. Air Canada Flight 624 bounced into the air and crashed near the runway threshold before careening along the tarmac.

On Oct. 14, 2004, a British-based MK Airlines 747 went down just beyond the runway during takeoff, killing seven crew members.

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