WestJet to pay for damages after ice chunk crashes through Calgary house
Theresa Couch and husband Richard were watching hockey when ice slammed through their roof, into the basement
WestJet says the company will pay for damages after a chunk of ice fell from one of its planes and crashed through the roof of a southeast Calgary home.
"A preliminary investigation of the situation with Nav Canada indicates the ice did fall from a WestJet Encore Bombardier Q400 on approach into Calgary from Regina," said company spokesperson Lauren Stewart in an email Saturday.
"We are in the process of inspecting the aircraft to determine the cause of this incident and are cooperating closely with local authorities and Nav Canada."
Theresa Couch, 77, was watching hockey with husband Richard Couch, 80, on Friday evening at their home in the 100 block of Doverthorn Bay S.E. when the ice chunk came crashing through the roof.
"The game had just started and we heard an explosion," she said. "It sounded like things falling all over the place. We came into the kitchen and there was nothing out of place. Then my husband went into the hallway … and there was ice all over the rug and debris, and all the way down the stairs into the basement and a big, huge hole in the ceiling."
The couple have lived in the home for 42 years and Theresa says flight paths were changed over their house two years ago.
"Now we're very nervous," she said. "With all these planes passing over our house all the time, it's day and night."
Theresa now has the chunks of ice — measuring about 30 centimetres across — in her freezer.
Jon Lee, western regional manager for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, says officials have no way of knowing how often something like this happens.
"The thing we don't know are all the incidents where ice comes from aircraft but doesn't hit a house," he said. "If it lands in a street, an alley, in a field, you'd never know. We're only aware of these events when people either hear it, or see it, or are directly involved when it hits their home."
This isn't the first time ice has hit a house in Calgary. In 2008, ice from an airplane lavatory hit a home in the southeast.
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With files from Kate Adach and Terri Trembath