Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Tragedy Averted at Toronto Airport


tracks
Originally uploaded by Pritch.
About an hour and a half after Air France flight 358 crashed into a ravine at the Toronto Airport we started to hear news that there may be some survivors. Amazing! Then more and more reports came in. I checked the various news broadcasts, trying to get the best coverage. CTV had some good leads. CNN was pretty good too. CBC was doing something on rowing. Back to CTV.

So what caused the horrible fire? One witness CTV interviewed had seen lightening strike the plane. Then, today, I read that planes get hit on average once a year, that passengers wouldn't even notice it, and that this wouldn't have been a factor in the crash. It was suggested by CNN that stormy weather had caused the crash, but the papers again disputed this potential cause, saying that winds had not reached a severe enough speed to set the plane's landing off course. So, it was the papers, The Globe and Mail, The National Post and Dose, that appeared to be ahead of the game, but of course they had more time to prepare the story. The papers were full of diagrams of the runway, the Toronto airport and chronology of the crash. Most stated that the plane had lost its front wheels as it crashed onto the runway. Hmmm...not enough info for me still.

After lunch I checked to see what images flick'r had of the incident (they had had the first widely available pics of the London bombing, taken by citizens at the scene) and so I found this great example of the aftermath of the crash. The picture shows that all the wheels touched down on the runway and carried the plane into the ditch, as evidenced by the skid marks coming off the runway. So the papers are busy with speculation too, and presenting it as fact. Well, good for citizen journalism-at-large and on-the-scene. So far flick'r is the source I give the most credit to. Though, we'll all have to wait until a full investigation begins by officials on Wednesday. Until then, perhaps my firefighter friend Dust[in] can comment on the scene and rescue efforts, which were by all standards truly amazing.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Dust said...

Wow...ive never had my name in a blog before...and sookies to boot!
Well...i wasnt working the night of the crash...but i knew alot of the dudes that were. (i was getn ready for the coldplay concert when i flicked on the telly and saw the crash)
Sooo..comments...well i dont wanna speak too much out of turn, (as i wasnt there)but i can say that ive worked with the crew that was responding, a few times, and i DO know that what helped make their response time soo good (52seconds) is that they get their dispatches directly from the control tower that something "may" happen while the planes are still in the air...so...the trucks are already on the tarmack(s) before the planes even land. They have all the info about the flight...fuel load,souls(passengers) on board etc.
So, what else can i say? It seems like once the planes captain said the plane was all clear(he stayed till the last passenger got off), it was just a matter of a plane on fire that needed to be put out.
Besides, it was a procedure that they (airport fire in conjunction with Mississauga fire) have practiced thousands of times. Without anybody trapped on the plane...it all seemed pretty straight forward.
Now...for the Coldplay concert...Chris Martin made reference to the crash in the second song of the evening, Politik. He worked in the line 'give me a plane crash where everyone survived' (or something like that) nonetheless pretty cool.
And lastly...from my mom, who stays GLUED to the tv when things like this happen, says she thinks CNN had the best coverage.

19:33  
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23:55  

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