Planes collide at Toronto airport, sparking fire and panic among passengers


An empty Sunwing Airlines Boeing 737 under tow caught fire on the ramp at Toronto's Pearson International Airport on Friday evening after clipping a WestJet 737, resulting in the emergency evacuation of the WestJet aircraft.

Video footage shows passengers exiting on an emergency slide as flames rose from the tail of the other airplane.

Jeremy Cohn, a Toronto news cameraman, shared an audio recording of the mayday call from the WestJet flight to the control tower.

Sunwing said there were no crew members or passengers aboard its aircraft. The pilot hurriedly notifies an evacuation and fire crews are scrambled, Reuters reported.

Spokeswoman Lauren Stewart confirmed that the passengers on the WestJet aircraft were evacuated from the plane via emergency slides and all of them had been safely taken to the terminal and were clearing customs shortly after the collision.

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The collision between the two planes from Sunwing Airlines and Westjet Airlines happened at 6:19 p.m. local time (2319 GMT), the Greater Toronto Airport Authority said in a statement.

Passenger Adrianna Lobo said the incident was "really scary".

Ali Alagheband, an engineer from Toronto, says chaos erupted when the plane was struck and a fire started outside.

Alagheband said he never heard announcements coming from the pilot clarifying how to proceed, a situation he said was risky given the fact that a fire was burning near an area where plane fuel is stored.

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.