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Air Canada flight skids off runway at Toronto’s Pearson airport

The Transportation Safety Board is investigating an incident involving an Air Canada flight from Halifax that landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Friday night. A safety board spokeswoman says Flight 623 was carrying 118 people and so far no injuries have been reported.

Mark Blinch/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Transportation Safety Board is investigating after an Air Canada flight from Halifax skidded off the runway at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Friday night.

A safety board spokeswoman says Flight 623 was carrying 118 people and so far no injuries have been reported. Julie Leroux says two safety board investigators were sent to the airport Friday night.

The flight arrived just before midnight during heavy rain. Passenger Kathie MacIntyre said the plane skidded off the runway as it touched down. The plane went through grass for a short distance before returning to the tarmac.

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"I knew something was wrong immediately," said Ms. MacIntyre, who was alarmed to see an oxygen mask drop during the rough landing.

Ms. MacIntyre, from New Minas, N.S., is the mother of The Globe and Mail's Toronto editor, Nicole MacIntyre, who was waiting at the airport when the incident happened.

After the plane came to a stop, Ms. MacIntyre said the pilot asked passengers to say seated and then advised that a maintenance crew was coming to check the plane. Emergency crews soon followed and the passengers were told the plane could not taxi in. After an hour, passengers were allowed to leave to waiting buses.

"It was frightening. I was scared not knowing what was happening. They didn't really update us," said Ms. MacIntyre, noting the plane was covered in mud.

Ms. MacIntyre was originally supposed to fly into Hamilton on WestJet, but her flight was cancelled because of heavy fog.

The TSB said damage to the aircraft appeared to be minor and five runway landing lights were damaged.

The agency said its investigators must examine all the information before drawing any conclusions, noting it's too early to speculate about the contributing factors that led to the incident.

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With files from Canadian Press

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