A Continental Express jet takes off at the airport in Halifax on Monday
10 November, 2018, 08:33
Officials at Stanfield International Airport near Halifax activated their emergency operations centre early Wednesday morning after a 747 cargo jet went off the end of a runway.
The crew members suffered minor injuries and were treated at a local hospital, the airport authority said in a statement.
Airport spokeswoman Theresa Rath Spicer says the SkyLease Cargo plane skidded off runway 32 at about 5:15 a.m., though it wasn't clear what caused the accident.
While it's the shorter of the two runways at the airport, cargo flights arrive and depart from there on a regular basis, she said.
Hours after the incident, the plane was still sitting on a slight incline far off the runway and within about 50 metres of a fence that marks the perimeter of the airport boundary. Two engines were sheared off completely.
Pictures posted on social media show that the aircraft has a cracked fuselage and is heavily damaged.
Several fire trucks and RCMP vehicles surrounded the damaged plane on what was a warm, misty day.
She said the main runway will reopen after that. Four flights were diverted and the airport's website was reporting delays and cancellations for both arriving and departing flights Wednesday morning.
The plane was thought to have been travelling from Chicago to Halifax.
Halifax fire deputy chief Roy Hollett said crews dug a trench around the plane to guard against a fuel leak.
She said the Transportation Safety Board would be involved in an investigation to determine what happened.
Officials with SkyLease weren't available for comment Wednesday, while First Catch staffers refused to comment.
The company operating it, Sky Lease Cargo, has been carrying seafood from the eastern province of Nova Scotia for sale in China. Certain roads around the airport have also been closed while investigations are carried out.
A passenger plane crashed during a blizzard on March 29, 2015, injuring 25 people.
On Oct. 14, 2004, a British-based MK Airlines 747 went down just beyond the runway during takeoff, killing seven crew members.
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