Passengers injured in fatal plane crash sue airline
Six passengers on a plane that crashed onto a busy street near Vancouver International Airport in 2011 are now suing the airline for damages.
The pilot and co-pilot were killed and several passengers injured when the Beechcraft King Air 100 crashed onto Russ Baker Way, slid across the road and burst into flames on Oct. 27, 2011.
All seven passengers on the charter flight to Kelowna were rescued, and six of them are now suing Northern Thunderbird Air for damages.
The lawsuit claims that as the plaintiffs and other passengers boarded the flight, a number of them noticed the presence of oil under the aircraft wing and reported that to the crew.
"The flight crew continued the boarding process and the aircraft departed for Kelowna," the notice of civil claim says.
"Shortly after takeoff, the captain announced that the aircraft would be returning to YVR due to an oil issue. At this point, the passengers could see oil streaming from the left engine of the King Air 100 and onto the wing."
However, the crew did not declare an emergency and proceeded to try and land at YVR, the lawsuit says.
A Transportation Safety Board official said after the crash that the plane slammed into a lamppost and hit a car before slamming onto the road and catching fire.
"The accident and the plaintiffs' injuries and losses were caused by the negligence of [Northern Thunderbird] Air and the flight crew," the lawsuit says.
It says the airline and the crew operated the plane with a known oil leak and no electrical cutoff switch to reduce the risk of a post-crash fire.
The suit also says the airline failed to adequately train the crew to operate an aircraft under reduced engine power.
The two pilots, Luc Fortin and Matt Robic, were rescued but later died of their injuries.
Good Samaritans from nearby offices and passing cars helped save the passengers' lives by pulling them from the burning plane as the terrifying scene unfolded.
The five men and one woman are suing for various injuries and losses including spinal fractures, burns, psychological injuries, loss of mobility and loss of income.
The allegations have not been proven in court.
With files from The Canadian Press