Five hospitalized after fire on tarmac at Trudeau Airport

Investigators from the federal Transportation Safety Board are at Trudeau airport following a fire on the tarmac that led to a number of injuries.

The fire broke out Monday afternoon when a Royal Air Maroc plane arrived from Casablanca.

As airport personnel were taking baggage out of the plane’s cargo hold the conveyer belt vehicle caught fire, enveloping the plane in smoke and sending choking clouds through the plane’s open cargo doors.

With 250 passengers still aboard the crew ordered an evacuation, popping the emergency doors and sending passengers sliding down the ramps to the tarmac.

On a video taken by Lee Brown and Antonio Molina passengers, some holding carry-on luggage, can be seen sliding down and walking away from the airplane. Some stumble and trip upon hitting the ground, and several people suffered lower body injuries during the evacuation.Seven people were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene, and five went to hospital for further treatment.
Ricardo Hernandez was refueling another plane a short distance away when he spotted the fire. He and other airport workers rushed to the aid of passengers who were running around in a near panic.

“There were people running everywhere. We didn’t now what to do, lost. We’re talking about 200 passengers,” said Hernandez.

The situation was very dangerous.

“We’re talking about fire beside a plane. That plane probably lands with 6,000 kilos of fuel,” said Hernandez.

He and other workers got the passengers to a safe spot and kept them secure until they were taken into the airport.

On Tuesday at midday the Boeing 767 was still at the gate, although it was not damaged by fire.

The TSB will determine the cause of the fire, and determine if similar events can be avoided in the future