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Air Canada plane makes hard landing short of runway

Associated Press

Halifax, NovaScotia — An Air Canada plane made a hard landing short of the runway at the Halifax airport during a snowstorm, crashing into a bank of antennas and shearing off its main landing gear, nose cone, and an engine as it skidded on its belly, officials said. The airline said Sunday that 25 people were taken to hospitals for observation and treatment of minor injuries.

The airline said Flight AC624, an Airbus 320 that left Toronto late Saturday, had 133 passengers and five crew members. Air Canada said the aircraft landed in stormy conditions at 12:43 a.m. Sunday.

“They touched down 1,100 feet short of the runway so I’d say they’re pretty lucky,” Mike Cunningham, a regional manager for Canada’s Transport Safety Board, told a news conference.

Cunningham said he could not rule out weather as a factor in the crash. He also said he believes a power line was severed, which led to a loss of power at the airport.

“All of us at Air Canada are greatly relieved that there have been no critical injuries as a result of this incident,” Air Canada Chief Operating Officer Klaus Goersch said.