No injuries after plane slides off Ottawa runway
Andrew Foote, ctvottawa.ca
Published Sunday, September 4, 2011 7:23PM EDT
Nobody was injured after a plane slid off the runway at the Ottawa International Airport Sunday afternoon.
Trans States Airlines said there were 44 passengers and three crew on board their plane when it left the runway during its landing and stopped in a grassy area around 3:30 p.m.
Everyone aboard was able to exit the plane safely.
Ottawa Fire Services spokesman Marc Messier said the plane suffered "substantial" damage to the undercarriage, with one of their haz-mat team helping airport crews with a fuel leak underneath the plane.
"The airport fire crews are quite quick at putting down foam and containing the fuel spill," Messier told CTV News Channel.
"The foam blankets the fuel, acts a blanket to prevent the fuel from being ignited."
The plane has been identified by Ottawa fire crews as an Embraer 145, a regional jet that can seat 50 people.
United Express said it was one of their flights, operated by the Missouri-based Trans States Airlines. It was landing after an express flight from Chicago.
Trans States said they won't speculate on what caused the plane to leave the runway.
David Ross, one of the passengers on the plane, said that the landing seemed normal at first but then the plane started to hydroplane on the wet runway.
"We clearly ran out of runway and the next thing we know we went off the runway to the left hand side," he told CTV News Channel on Sunday.
Ross said it was a shock but that other than a bit of screaming, people remained calm.
"No one was freaking out," he said. "When the plane stopped moving it was quiet. People were trying to figure out what to do next."
He said passengers stayed on the plane for 10 to 15 minutes after the landing.
Messier said Transport Canada will be handling the investigation.
The plane is operated by the same company whose plane skidded off the Ottawa International Airport's runway in heavy rains in June 2010.
That plane had 33 people and three crew members on board, with three minor injuries.
Look through a gallery of pictures from the scene.
With files from The Canadian Press