Nova Scotia

Air Canada AC624 passengers speak about ordeal

Here's what some of the 132 passengers on Air Canada flight 624 said after the plane crashed at Halifax early Sunday.

'We pretty near froze to death out there,' passenger says

AC624 passenger Denis Lavoie

8 years ago
Duration 3:00
Denis Lavoie talks about his experience on AC624.

Here's what some of the 133 passengers on Air Canada flight 624 said after the plane crashed at Halifax early Sunday.

Karim Marzouk:

"Heads were down. It was the force you’d expect during a roller coaster, something you’re total incapable of controlling. You’re just being thrown around."

'We didn’t look back — we just started running on the tarmac as far away as we could,' says AC624 passenger Karim Marzouk (CBC)

"We saw sparks coming from the left-hand side of the plane, from the wingspan, from the engine. Something was wrong. That was immediately followed by a sudden slam into the ground. This was extremely forceful. At that point you’re thinking this is it. This is the end."

"I was sitting immediately adjacent to the emergency exit. As soon as the plane stopped, my first instinct was to grab for the handle and open up the door. I didn’t wait for any instructions … I’m not going to wait on this plane to find out what happens next."

"As soon as we slid down the emergency slide, I could smell what I thought was fuel [and saw] some liquid dripping from the tail end of the plane. At that point we’re thinking the worse. We didn’t look back — we just started running on the tarmac as far away as we could."

"There were people with facial injuries, potentially broken noses, lacerations on the face. Some people were also complaining of arm and shoulder injuries."

Dominique Stettler:

"We just scraped along the runway for what seemed like an eternity. I actually looked at the man next to me and grabbed his hand, because I honestly thought it was going to be my last moment on Earth."

Mike Magnus:

"We were coming in pretty hard. I don't think the captain realized how bad the weather was down here. We could see land, but then it seemed something happened. It appears we clipped the power line and all hell broke loose. It looks like the engine snapped off and we slid for a while. Thankfully we're all alive."

"A lot of screaming and people — well, what do you expect? It was a plane crash. Babies crying. I stayed and helped a lot of people off the plane."

Denis Lavoie:

"We hit the runway and we bounced. I was next to the motor. Flames were coming out. Sparks everywhere. We bounced, had another good bounce, and we slid all the way to the end of the runway."

"I guess they were polite and doing their best, but 50 minutes on the runway is not acceptable. Can you imagine if this was a serious accident? I understand they didn't have power. But we lost a motor [and had] 50 people on the runway."

"I think they should do better next time — at least prepare, just in case. Everybody was so polite. Nobody was complaining. Still, I think it is unacceptable. An international airport shouldn't be so deserted."

"It's not a ‘hard landing', it is a crash. When you lose an engine, I don't call this a hard landing." 

Doug Tamlyl:

AC624 passenger Doug Tamlyl talks about the crash landing. (CBC)

"A burnt-up engine — the engine was here, the wing was cracked off. It seems to me it hit the telephone lines with the landing gear and when it hit that, everything flashed and a big piece of steel or something came through the floor under my seat. We all hit our heads. We thought we were goners."

"We pretty near froze to death out there. An hour? If you're coming from Florida you don't really have clothes. Some people had no shoes on because they'd took their shoes off during the flight."

Lianne Clark:

AC624 passenger Lianne Clark is scheduled to fly again on Monday. (CBC)

"We were coming in to land and we heard a really big bump, and very hard. I hit my head and we had another big bang and then everyone started to say, ‘Get out.'"

"We popped the doors because we were in the exit row and everyone started to run out. We had to get away from the plane because it was full of fuel. We crash landed."

"We were out in the snow for an hour. The police were wonderful. The people trying to help were absolutely wonderful. One wonderful cop gave me his coat. I don't blame them, but I blame the airport."

"You need a better response, especially in these kinds of conditions. Why didn't the buses come pick us up? Why didn't they just send us cabs? Anybody to come and pick us up?"

Randy Hall:

AC624 passenger Randy Hall speaks about his experience. (CBC)

"The airplane's out there on the tarmac. All the landing gear is off of it. The engines are off of it. This wasn't a hard landing. That plane is out there in pieces."

"After an hour and 15 minutes, a whole procession of park-and-fly buses came. Where were they after the plane went down?"


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