Plane's Wing Bursts Into Flames After Collision at Toronto Airport

An appalling week for airline travel continues apace: A passenger jet's wing caught fire during a minor collision with another aircraft on the runway of Toronto's Pearson International Airport on Friday night. 

The West Jet flight carrying 174 people had just landed from Cancun, reports Travel + Leisure, when an empty Sunwing airliner clipped its wing while being towed. The wing of the Sunwing jet erupted in flames, causing immediate panic and screams from passengers onboard the West Jet aircraft. By the look of video captured by a passenger with a direct view of the blaze, it appears those onboard the West Jet plane were confused as to which aircraft had initially caught fire. Luckily, however, everyone was safe, although the scene was still plenty terrifying. 

According to a CBC report, passengers were evacuated as firefighters tended to the blaze. One fireman was hurt, although he's expected to make a full recovery. 

The ground crew managing the Sunwing plane was handled by Swissport, a cargo handling and aviation services company. The company claims it doesn't know what started the fire, but issued an apology and claims it's working with authorities to investigate the incident. 

"Ensuring the safety of our staff, our partners and travellers is paramount to Swissport. We regret this incident and are cooperating fully with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada's investigation," a company spokesperson told the CBC. 

The harrowing blaze transpired in the midst of a calamitous travel week in North America as storm Grayson unleashed wintry fury along the eastern United States, causing delays and sparking lots very frustrated tweets from wayward travelers. 

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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Esquire. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster