Two passenger jets collided at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Saturday, creating a fireball that sent passengers scrambling before they were evacuated on emergency slides. The tail of Sunwing plane, an empty aircraft, which was being towed back into the gate, struck the commercial flight which was stationery, media reports said.
A WestJet Flight arriving from Cancun on Friday was waiting to advance to a gate when it was struck by a Sunwing Airlines aircraft being towed by a "ground handling service provider", Sunwing Vacations tweeted.
A video shot from close range by an eyewitness went viral on social media platforms just after the incident.
Although no injuries were reported from the passengers, a Toronto Pearson Fire and Emergency Service personnel was reportedly injured and had to be taken to the hospital. Passengers are heard screaming. Everyone was a little shocked and kind of chuckling at the situation'.
Spokeswoman Lauren Stewart said the WestJet passengers were evacuated from the Boeing 737-800 via emergency slides and all were safely in the terminal and clearing customs shortly after the collision.
'After a couple of seconds the entire thing ignited and it was chaos inside the plane.
Investigators are reportedly gathering information about the incident, including "how many ground crew were present, how many are required [and] what the procedures are for this type of maneuver", a Transportation Safety Board of Canada spokesperson told CBC.
Sunwing said the incident was caused by ground handlers working for Swissport, a third party company. There were no passengers aboard the Sunwing plane at the time of the collision.
The WestJet flight was carrying 168 passengers and a crew of six at the time of the collision.