Air France Flight 358,

Plane Crash – Air France 358 Flight Overrun at Toronto

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COPYRIGHT: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
Air France Flight 358, an Airbus A340 airliner, departed Paris without incident at 11:53UTC August 2, 2005, later touching down on runway 24L-06R at Toronto Pearson International Airport at 20:01 UTC (16:01 EDT). The aircraft failed to stop and plunged into a nearby shallow ravine, coming to rest and bursting into flames approximately 200 metres past the end of the runway. The Airbus A340-313X had 309 people aboard (297 passengers and 12 crew), all of whom survived without life-threatening injuries.

The plane was cleared to land at 16:04 EDT on Runway 24L, which at 9,000 feet (2,728 m) in length, was the shortest runway at Pearson Airport. After touchdown, the aircraft did not stop before the end of the runway, but continued for 200 meters until it slid into the Etobicoke Creek ravine, on the western edge of the airport near the interchange of Dixie Road and Highway 401, the busiest highway in North America. The fire began in the middle of the plane, blocking some of the emergency exits, but the plane was evacuated within the regulated 90 second evacuation time. Some emergency exit slides failed to deploy, forcing some passengers to jump out of the aircraft. The first officer was the last to leave the plane.

Many flights departing and arriving at Pearson were cancelled, and many subsequent flights to Toronto were diverted to other Canadian airports in Ottawa, London, Hamilton, Montreal, and Winnipeg [1], as well as Syracuse, New York [2] and Buffalo, New York. Flights from Vancouver were turned back. Some 540 flights were cancelled.

The crash of Air France Flight 358 was the biggest crisis to hit Toronto Pearson since the airport’s involvement in Operation Yellow Ribbon.

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