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Air Canada plane and fuel truck collide on runway at Pearson

Friday, May 10th 2019, 8:35 am - Five people were injured after an Air Canada Jazz plane collided with a fuel tanker truck at Toronto Pearson Airport early Friday.

An Air Canada Jazz plane that was originally headed from Toronto to Sudbury was forced to turn around during the early morning hours on Friday due to bad weather at the time in Sudbury. Upon a successful landing at Toronto's Pearson International Airport, the aircraft collided with a fuel tanker truck during its taxi to a gate in Terminal 1 at around 1:36 a.m. There were 51 passengers on board.

PLANE FORCED TO TURN AROUND DUE TO BAD WEATHER

"Visibility at Sudbury airport was between 400-200 metres through the overnight hours with vertical visibility of only about 30 metres thanks to dense fog and drizzle," says Weather Network meteorologist Brad Rousseau.

Pilot reports from the overnight hours around southern Ontario were also showing moderate turbulence likely due to the strong winds aloft.

"This in combination with heavy rain likely contributed to the flight having to turn back to Pearson," says Rousseau, adding that around the time of the collision at Pearson, only light rain was falling along with light winds.

According to Peel Regional Police, five people were injured in the incident, including the pilot, co-pilot, a flight attendant and two passengers. The Greater Toronto Airport Authority said three people were taken to hospital, but didn't identify them, as reported by CBC News. The driver of the tanker truck was charged with "dangerous operation of a vehicle" under the federal Aviation Act.

There was a heavy response from emergency officials due to concerns about the fuel tanker truck involved, but after a couple of hours, the tanker was towed away.

"The aircraft and vehicle have been removed and the scene has returned to normal operations. There is no operational impact at the airport," the GTAA said.

Reports from the scene showed significant damage to the front of the plane beneath the pilot's windshield and to a propeller which was severely bent.

"The plane was pretty much written off," Peel Regional Police Sgt. Bancroft Wright told CBC News.

AirCanada plane

(Emergency officials on the scene at Toronto Pearson International Airport after plane collides with fuel truck on runway early Friday. Jeremy Cohn)

With files from CBC, Jeremy Cohn

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