Planes collide at Toronto airport, causing fire, evacuation

Two planes collided on the ground at Toronto's Pearson International Airport on Friday night (Jan. 5), causing a small fire and forcing passengers to evacuate on emergency slides.

WestJet airlines said its Boeing 737-800 carrying 168 passengers and six crew was waiting for a gate when it was hit by a Sunwing plane.

But passengers have offered accounts of confusion aboard the plane and allegations that procedures were not clearly communicated. After a couple of seconds the entire thing ignited and it was chaos inside the plane.

Passengers on the WestJet flight were evacuated, CBC reports, and a firefighter responding to the scene was sent to the hospital after his face was exposed to a chemical, possibly antifreeze.

Shortly thereafter, he said he saw a fireball near the plane's wing and began to smell smoke.

He says he was in a seat opposite the part of the plane that was struck, and he wasn't able to hear instructions from crewmembers or the pilot over the commotion.

But he said the crew's primary piece of advice was at odds with what he felt to be the safest approach.

"I started crying because I realized what happened", she said. "I was telling my wife, 'to hell with keeping seated, we've got to get out of here"'.

Lobo explained that she did not realize the seriousness of the situation until she exited the aircraft.

Toronto's Pearson Airport said on Twitter that some flight operations had been impacted by the incident and an investigation was underway.

Swissport, the ground crew that was towing the Sunwing plane, apologized for the accident, but maintained that it was operating under all safety regulations. No injuries have been reported yet.

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