Flight attendant threatened by passengers during plane evacuation

Transportation Safety Board

The Canadian Transportation Safety Board (TSB) released its final report on the collision between a Jazz Aviation DHC-8 and a fuel truck. The authority highlighted the unruly behavior of multiple passengers during the incident.

On May 10, 2019, a de Havilland DHC-8, registered as C-FJXZ, operated by Jazz Aviation departed from Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ), Toronto, to carry out flight JZA8615 to Sudbury Airport (YSB) in Ontario. However, due to the poor visibility at the destination airport, the flight crew decided to return to Toronto where it landed normally.

While taxiing to its gate, the aircraft was hit by a fuel truck operated by Menzies Aviation. The left side of the fuselage as well as the left propeller sustained damages. The TSB ruled that poor visibility due to darkness, rain, and reflected light on the pilot’s side and the condensation on the windows of the cabin on the truck’s side led to the collision.

A recurring issue

But what the report focuses on the most is the poor behavior of passengers during the plane evacuation. Shortly after the plane came to a halt, one passenger opened the right-side rear emergency door and jumped out of the plane, followed by another one, despite the propeller engine still running.

At the front of the plane, passengers pressured a flight attendant, with at least one of them voicing threats, into opening the main door of the aircraft on the left side. After smelling fuel coming from the impact area, she instructed the passengers to evacuate and to leave their luggage behind. “Many passengers ignored the commands to leave their belongings behind,” the flight attendant recounted, as stated in the report. One of the passengers even returned into the aircraft to retrieve personal belongings, before a flight attendant prevented other passengers from doing the same.

The TSB also voiced their concern to see passenger non-compliance with instructions regarding seat belt use become a “recurring issue”. While the plane was still taxiing, a passenger opened their seatbelt and was projected onto the ground during the collision, thus becoming an obstacle for the flight attendant’s work. In total, 15 minor injuries were reported.

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