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Cargo plane incident causes delays at Halifax airport

Transportation Safety Board investigators on scene

3 min read
caption The off-runway cargo plane at Halifax Stanfield International Airport.
Transportation Safety Board of Canada

Halifax Stanfield International Airport is experiencing delays and cancellations after a cargo plane overran a runway early Wednesday morning.

The incident happened at 5:05 a.m., when a Boeing 747-400 went off the end of Runway 14. The crew suffered minor injuries.

The entire airfield was closed for several hours, said Theresa Rath Spicer, a spokesperson for the airport. The main runway was reopened by 8:30 a.m., but Runway 14 is still closed.

“Our flight schedules continue to be impacted,” she said. “We’re asking passengers to please check with their airlines as to their flight status.”

caption The departures schedule at Halifax Stanfield International Airport at 6:20 p.m.

Angie McConnell was supposed to fly to a funeral in Alberta at 7:50 a.m., but her flight was cancelled. She expected to wait until 5 p.m. for a new flight.

McConnell found out about the runway incident when media outlets started tweeting about it.

“I would’ve thought there would’ve been some more information for people,” she said in a phone interview. She said passengers with smartphones were sharing information with those less connected.

Investigating what happened

The cargo plane involved in the accident is operated by SkyLease Cargo, based in Miami, Fla. It arrived from Chicago, and was supposed to be loaded with live lobster for shipment to China, via Alaska. The flight, announced this summer, operates twice a week.

The plane’s four crew members were taken to the hospital for treatment. Emergency Health Services weren’t able to comment on the nature of their injuries or whether they’d been released from the hospital yet.

Police started an investigation, but the Transportation Safety Board of Canada took over. Three local investigators were on site Wednesday, with another expected from Montreal.

Alex Fournier, spokesperson for the safety board, said investigators are collecting information from the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder. They’ll also be meeting with crew members and air traffic control, and looking into the plane’s maintenance history.

“It has significant damage,” he said about the plane.

The safety board is expected to provide an update on the investigation on Thursday morning.

Spicer couldn’t say when flight departure times will improve, just that the airport is respecting the investigation.

caption The end of Runway 14, also the start of Runway 32, where the plane went off the runway.
Google Earth

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