Outcome Of Toronto Mishap Called "Miraculous"
"Miracles, yes, they do happen."
That's not what you'd expect the deputy mayor to say after a
major plane crash in his city. But you can hear the relief in
Toronto's Joe Pantalone when he talks about the crash of an Air
France Airbus A340 in Toronto Tuesday.
"It felt like a miracle, there's no doubt about it," he told the
Toronto Star. "You saw the plane, you saw the smoke, you heard the
reports and yet, everyone was safe."
Indeed, there were no fatalities or major injuries among the 297
passengers and 12 crew members on board Air France Flight 358 from
Paris, as it skidded off the runway and into a creek. Some 40
passengers sustained minor injuries, according to local news
It was the first mishap at Toronto's Pearson International since
1978, when a DC-9 blew a tire on take-off and ended up in the very
same creek. In that mishap, two passengers were killed and 105 were
In Tuesday's Air France incident, passengers said two of the
emergency chutes on board the Airbus A340 failed to deploy.
"The attendants said it was safe to jump and it was probably safer
to jump than to stay on the plane," one unidentified passenger told
the Star. "People were falling on top of each other. Most people
were hurt exiting the airplane."
The aircraft landed at approximately
1600 local, during a severe thunderstorm, according to authorities.
Some passengers told reporters the aircraft was struck by lightning
while on short final.
"We were certainly approaching the runway with more than normal
speed," passenger Roel Bramar told the CBC. "I thought we were
coming in a little too fast." Another passenger said the cabin
lights failed just before touchdown.
"People actually started clapping when we touched down,"
passenger Joe Abedrabblo told the Star. He said his first thought
was "I don't want to die today."
It was the first crash involving an A340 since the model was
introduced 13 years ago. Canada's Transportation Safety Board is