All passengers survive Toronto plane crash

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Photo taken of the scene from the south side of Highway 401 near Etobicoke Creek by a municipal traffic camera. Source: Government of Ontario

Today at 4:03 p.m. EDT (2003 UTC) Air France Flight 358, an Airbus A340 from Paris, crashed at the end of Runway 24L of Toronto's Pearson International Airport. Following flights to Toronto were diverted to airports in Ottawa and Winnipeg.

Over 3 dozen people who suffered non-life threatening injuries were treated at hospitals. There were 297 passengers and 12 crew onboard.

Speaking at a press conference, Steve Shaw of the Greater Toronto Airport Authority said "As far as we know at this stage the passengers were able to flee the aircraft before the fire broke out."

The plane, flying from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France, apparently ran into trouble amidst severe thunderstorms that had caused take-offs to be suspended at the time of the crash.

The plane skidded 200 m past the end of the runway, through barriers and into the wooded Etobicoke Creek ravine near Highway 401, then burst into flames. The runway was recently constructed, and is the shortest at the airport (9000 feet).

The last major crash of an airliner in North America was American Airlines Flight 587. There has never been a fatality in the 14 years since the Airbus A340 first flew.