HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – An Air Canada plane made a hard landing short of the runway at the Halifax airport during a snowstorm, crashing into a bank of antennas and shearing off its main landing gear, nose cone and an engine as it skidded on its belly, officials said. The airline said Sunday that 25 people were taken to hospitals for observation and treatment of minor injuries.
The airline said Flight AC624, an Airbus 320 that left Toronto late Saturday, had 133 passengers and five crew members. Air Canada said the aircraft landed in stormy conditions at 12:43 a.m. Sunday.
"They touched down 1,100 feet short of the runway so I'd say they're pretty lucky," Mike Cunningham, a regional manager for Canada's Transport Safety Board, said.
Cunningham said the plane hit an antenna array, shearing the main landing gear off before sliding on its belly onto the runway for another 1,100 feet before coming to a stop. Cunningham said there was significant damage to the plane and could not rule out weather as a factor. He also said he believes a power line was severed.