Twenty-two people injured after plane skids off runway in snow

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Some 22 people have been taken to hospital after an Air Canada plane made an “abrupt” landing and left the runway during bad weather.

The airline said they were taken to hospital for observation and treatment of minor injuries after the incident at Halifax Airport in Nova Scotia.

It said all passengers with Flight AC624 from Toronto left the plane and went to the terminal.

A preliminary count indicated 132 passengers and five crew members were on board, Air Canada said. Flight tracking service FlightAware showed that the plane was an Airbus A320, which has typical seating for 150.

Power at the airport was briefly knocked out, but Nova Scotia Power said it had since restored it.

The Halifax region is under a snowfall warning, with an Environment Canada alert saying “visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow”.

Another flight tracking site, Flightradar24, listed several cancelled flights at the airport yesterday morning.

Mike Magnus, a businessman who was on the plane, said it was at the “furthest tip of the airport” when it stopped.

He said he heard that the plane may have clipped a power line and that caused the outage at the airport.

“It was so chaotic at the time. I’m pretty sure the landing gear broke on it. The engine on my side popped off,” the 60-year-old said.

Mr Magnus believes at least one engine was torn off the Airbus A320. He said the nose of the plane was sheared off and believes the wings were damaged too.

He added that the snow covering the runway was likely to have deadened any sparks that may have caused a fire.

“The snow caused it and the snow saved it,” he said.

Mr Magnus was released from hospital after being treated for minor injuries to his shoulder and jaw. “I’m safe and that’s all that matters.” he said.

The airport said on Twitter: “We are thankful no serious injuries have been reported.”

Spokesman Peter Spurway said the aircraft touched down in stormy conditions. “It came down pretty hard and then skidded off the runway,” he said.