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TSB investigating after plane leaves runway while landing in Toronto

TSB investigating rough landing incident

TORONTO — The Transportation Safety Board is investigating after an Air Canada plane briefly left the runway while landing at Toronto Pearson Airport.

Air Canada spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur says the aircraft’s landing gear left the runway for a short distance when landing Friday night.

Flight 623 from Halifax was carrying 118 people and no injuries were reported, the TSB said Saturday in a statement.

The Airbus A320 will be thoroughly examined and the TSB has obtained the flight recorders and gathered information about the weather conditions, the statement said.

Paul Varian of Burlington, Ont., says he was one of the 112 passengers aboard the flight when the plane lurched left off the runway and came to a “very sudden stop.”

Varian says passengers were thrown forward in their seats and a few oxygen masks dropped. He noticed brown and black debris on his window, which he says may have come from a blown-out tire beneath him.

“We could see that clearly there was a lot of mud on the underbelly and the left-hand side of the plane,” he says. “The tires were completely blown out on the left-hand wheel … but the plane didn’t appear significantly damaged beyond that.”

Varian says emergency responders were on the scene within minutes and it took about an hour and a half for passengers to be shuttled to a nearby terminal.

The TSB said damage to the aircraft appeared to be minor and five runway landing lights were damaged.

The agency said its investigators must examine all the information before drawing any conclusions, noting it’s too early to speculate about the contributing factors that led to the incident.

The Canadian Press

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