Five people were injured during the collision of an Air Canada Express plane and a fuel tanker truck at Toronto’s Pearson International airport early Friday.
The collision occurred around 1:36 a.m. ET as Flight 8615 was taxiing to a gate at Terminal 1 with 50 passengers aboard.
The DHC-8-300 was originally headed to Sudbury from Toronto, but turned back to Pearson due to foggy conditions in the northern Ontario city.
Landing and taxiing toward the gate at Terminal 1, the tanker truck hit the plane – and “panic” ensued.
“We had been coming near the terminal and on the left side, I seemed out, and a giant car used to bebarreling — it seemed parallel to us, however suddenly, bang!” passenger Paul Frontczak recalled to CBC. “It hit the the front of the aircraft, threw the plane in one direction, it spun the opposite way, and it appears like both the the front or the rear of it hit the returned of the airplane.”
“It stopped pretty quickly, but then we started to smell aviation fuel and that’s when panic started,” Frontczak continued.
To evacuate quickly, the 50 passengers onboard were reportedly forced to jump from the aircraft to the tarmac below, as per CBC.
Emergency personnel responded to the scene, as Flight 8615’s two pilots, a flight attendant and two passengers were treated for injuries, Peel Regional Police Sgt. Bancroft Wright said.
According to the Greater Toronto Airport Authority, three of the injured persons were hospitalized.
“The aircraft and vehicle have been removed and the scene has returned to normal operations. There is no operational impact at the airport,” officials detailed.
The driver of the fuel truck has since been charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle, according to Wright.
Moving forward, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada sent a team of investigators to the airport to further probe the incident, CBC reports.