Boeing 747 skids off runway at Halifax Stanfield

Halifax Stanfield International Airport suspended all flights in the early morning of Nov. 7, 2018, after a Boeing 747-400 Sky Lease cargo aircraft skidded off the end of a runway shortly after 5 a.m.

A Boeing 747-400 Sky Lease cargo aircraft was badly damaged after skidding off a runway at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Barry Shipley Photo

Four crewmembers were taken to hospital with minor injuries and the aircraft suffered significant damage, with two of its engines sheared off completely.

Investigators from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada attended the scene, along with local emergency workers.

Two of the engines were completely sheared off, while the other two appeared to be badly damaged, according to reports. Barry Shipley Photo

It was not immediately clear what caused the incident, but an airport spokesperson said the aircraft was arriving from Chicago in rainy conditions, according to the Canadian Press.

The aircraft was scheduled to be loaded with live lobster destined for China, said spokesperson Theresa Rath Spicer.

“It did land and then overshot the runway,” she said, according to CP.

Gateway Aviation picked up the lobster slated for the Sky Lease flight, said Rath Spicer, according to the CBC.

The aircraft came to a stop less than 50 metres from a fence separating the airfield from a public two-lane road, the CBC reported.

The aircraft came to a stop near a fence that separates the airfield from a public roadway. Barry Shipley Photo

A stretch of the road was closed the public around 9 a.m. local time and reopened by 4 p.m. Halifax Stanfield’s main runway was reopened shortly after 8 a.m., but flight delays continued well into the afternoon.

This was the third serious incident at Halifax Stanfield in 15 years, but Rath Spicer defended the airport’s safety record.

“Obviously, safety is our number 1 priority,” she said, per the Canadian Press.

“We are now focused on resuming our operation, ensuring the safety of our passengers and working with the officials to determine how we can assist with the investigation.”


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