No injuries in mystery mishap on runway

Workers yesterday freed a WestJet airplane that had skidded off the runway at Ottawa’s airport and nosed into ice and snow, but officials were still waiting for investigators to determine what caused it to slide.

"By 11 a.m., they had defuelled the aircraft, and the plane was out at 2 p.m.," said Richard Bartrem, vice-president of communications for the airline.


Bartrem said WestJet had maintenance crews from Ottawa and Toronto working on getting the Boeing 737 out. "It didn’t take that long to get the aircraft out."

At about 11 p.m. Sunday night, WestJet flight 846 from Calgary skidded off the end of runway 25 at the airport, sending airport and city emergency crews rushing to the scene as a precaution.

Bartrem said it took 45 minutes to get passengers off the flight, and that passengers were all reunited with their luggage yesterday.

The Transportation Safety Board and WestJet are continuing to investigate the cause of the slide, Bartrem said. The aircraft will be examined to determine if there is damage.

"It’s certainly a very rare occurrence," Bartrem said of the incident.

Bartrem said the airline isn’t speculating if the slide was due to icy conditions from freezing rain in Ottawa. He didn’t know when the investigation would be complete.

lucky outcome

  • There were no injuries in the slide among the 88 passengers and six crew members that were onboard.

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