747 cargo jet goes off runway at Halifax airport

Galtero Lara
Noviembre 8, 2018

Investigators with the Transportation Safety Board have arrived in Halifax after a 747 cargo aircraft went off the end of a runway early Wednesday morning at Halifax Stanfield International Airport and stopped not far from a public road.

The crew of four on board were removed by fire crews and taken to hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

Airport spokesperson Theresa Rath Spicer said the Sky Lease Cargo plane coming from Chicago was making a scheduled landing to pick up live lobster and then fly to China.

Rath Spicer said the accident happened at the end of Runway 32.

Federal investigators have arrived in Halifax to piece together why a Boeing 747 cargo plane skidded off an airport runway Wednesday, leaving a trail of debris and sending four crew to hospital. Two of its engines appeared to be attached but were heavily damaged, while two other engines were sheared off completely.

The landing gear wasn't visible, the nose of the white aircraft had sustained moderate damage and the underside of the plane appeared to be cracked and heavily damaged.

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.

Board spokesman Chris Krepski said investigators will examine the aircraft and surrounding terrain, interview possible witnesses and crew members and take possession of the flight data recorders.

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

It said SkyLease's 747-400 aircraft had the capacity to carry up to 120 tonnes of Nova Scotia seafood to China.

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"We respond with water supply and manpower", West said.

Officials with SkyLease weren't available for comment Wednesday, while First Catch staffers refused to comment.

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

The company wouldn't comment and said all media inquiries would be handled through the airport authority.

It is at least the third serious incident at Stanfield in 15 years.

Flightradar24.com said the plane had flown to Anchorage, Alaska, and Changsha on Monday.

Two other planes - including one cargo jet - have crashed while attempting takeoff or landing at the Halifax airport since 2004.

A passenger plane crashed during a blizzard on March 29, 2015, injuring 25 people. The Boeing cargo aircraft dragged its tail before breaking up and bursting into flames in a wooded area.

A lengthy investigation by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada found that crew fatigue and inadequate software training led the crew to enter incorrect information and caused the plane to set the throttles too low for a good takeoff.

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

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