The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) recently released its investigation report into the collision between an airport fuel truck and a Jazz de Havilland DHC-8-311 at Toronto’s Pearson airport in May of 2019.
The fuel truck, operated by Menzies Aviation, sustained damage and has since been repaired and returned to service. The Dash 8 was a write-off, sustaining damage to the left side of the cockpit, the left side propeller and the left rear of the fuselage. There was no fire.
The report describes a state of pandemonium that existed on board the aircraft in the moments after the collision, with panicking passengers shouting and disobeying the flight attendant by opening emergency window exits before being told to, removing belongings from the overhead compartment when instructed to evacuate and attempting to return to the aircraft to retrieve belongings after evacuation.
One passenger who had unbuckled her seat belt and got up before the collision refused the flight attendant’s orders to sit back down and buckle up. When the collision occurred, she was thrown to the floor and remained there, impeding the flight attendant’s ability to properly execute her evacuation duties.
Three infants were on board the aircraft; two were held in the arms of adults and were ejected from their arms with the force of the collision, striking another passenger in one case and, in another, the seatback in front before falling into the aisle, sustaining minor injuries. The third infant was held in a cloth baby carrier worn by its mother. Due to the lateral force of impact by the fuel truck, the mother sustained back and ribcage injuries as her body twisted. The baby was uninjured. Altogether there were 15 people injured, including the captain.
Numerous findings were listed in the report, among them the poor lines of vision to the right side of the fuel truck’s driver’s compartment due to the position of the elevating fuelling station platform.
The TSB is again calling on Transport Canada to address what it considers to be inadequate infant and child restraint systems on board aircraft.
See the appended TSB investigation report below for more details.
Photo credits: Menzies Aviation via TSBa19o0063.EN