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Westjet 737 Catches Fire at Toronto’s Pearson Airport After Collision On Ramp

A Westjet 737 caught fire after colliding with another aircraft on the tarmac. By RAF-YYC from Calgary, Canada (WestJet 737-800 C-GJWS Tail # 802) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Instagram screen capture: Stephan_belford

A scary situation as passengers had to evacuate on slides

A ramp collision between a WestJet Boeing 737 carrying 168 people and a Sunwing 737 on Friday night at Pearson Airport in Toronto resulted in a fuel leak and subsequent fire. Passengers were terrified as they watched the inferno in horror, unaware if the fire would grow. Children were screaming and chaos ensued as everyone wondered if it was their plane that had caught on fire or if it was the empty plane next to them. The order was eventually given to evacuate the Westjet aircraft. The scene was captured in vivid detail on video:

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The plane collision happened about 6pm as a Sunwing jet was being repositioned on the ramp by third-party ground crews and the WestJet flight was returning from Cancun, Mexico. Following the crash, flames engulfed one of the Westjet aircraft’s wings. Flight attendants scrambled to control the situation as fears arose about a possible fuel leak.

Passenger Gustavo Lobo told CBC News, “Panic set in when [we saw] what seemed to be fuel spewing from the crash. Out of nowhere there was an audible crunch and the plane rocked slightly. We looked out the window and saw that the plane had backed up into us.”

According to Sunwing, the accident was caused by ground handlers that were working for a third-party company, Swissport. Canada’s Transportation Safety Board is conducting a full investigation.

WestJet spokeswoman Lauren Stewart said there were no injuries and that “emergency crews were on hand and responded immediately.”

Sunwing tweeted, “There were no Sunwing crew or passengers onboard at the time of the incident. We are awaiting further information from Swissport and will provide more details as they become available.” Swissport has not commented on the incident.

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Kim Clark

Written by Kim Clark

Former CNN Radio News Network anchor Kim Clark is a freelance writer and editor, specializing in the aviation industry and financial markets. She currently freelances for S&P Global and works as a club and event Disc Jockey in Atlanta, Georgia, after having held positions doing news on radio morning shows and holding down the position of Music Director of commercial radio stations owned by Cumulus and Clear Channel.

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