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EIA runway reopens after frightening emergency landing

WATCH ABOVE: Exclusive raw video: Passenger on board Air Canada flight records scary emergency landing at the Edmonton International Airport

EDMONTON — Just over 24 hours after an Air Canada plane made an emergency landing at Edmonton International Airport, the runway has been cleared.

EIA spokesperson Heather Hamilton said runway 2 reopened around 10:30 Friday night.

“The aircraft has been clear, runway inspected, lights are on and it’s back in operation,” Hamilton said Saturday. “[The] very-hard working, and very tired, ops crew is heading home.”

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada sent a team of investigators to EIA on Thursday after the small passenger airplane from Calgary was forced to make an emergency landing.

Hamilton said the Air Canada Q400 aircraft was en route from Calgary to Grande Prairie when it experienced an “apparent mechanical issue.”

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According to Transport Canada, the plane “may have blown a tire on departure.” The runway in Calgary was inspected and “significant debris [was] found.” Transport Canada said the runway was unavailable for 50 minutes while debris was removed.

The pilots made the decision to land the plane in Edmonton because of heavy crosswind in Calgary.

Flight AC8481 landed in Edmonton around 8:30 p.m.

READ MORE: Passenger captures dramatic emergency landing at Edmonton airport

“Some time after the roll the right main landing gear collapsed, and then the aircraft slowly veered off to the right and came partially off the runway,” explained David Deveau, Jazz VP of Safety.

Deveau said losing one tire typically doesn’t present a high risk during a landing.

“They’ll look at mechanical aspects of the event, and everything including the crew actions.”

READ MORE: Aircraft that made emergency landing has history of landing gear issues

Air Canada said four people were taken to hospital with minor injuries. Three were released Friday, while the fourth remains in hospital under observation.

There were 75 people on board the Dash 8 aircraft — 71 passengers and four crew members.

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Air Canada issued a statement on Friday morning. It reads, in part:

“Our efforts continue to focus on the well-being of the passengers and crew members. Air Canada and Jazz are very grateful that there were no severe injuries and thank emergency response personnel on the scene for their support. Air Canada customer care representatives remain available to provide the best care and assistance to those affected.”

WATCH: Fletcher Kent reports on emergency landing at EIA 

EIA’s emergency operations centre was activated as a result of the troubled landing. All of the passengers were taken off the airplane and bussed to the terminal.

Most of the passengers were then transported to Grande Prairie on another Air Canada plane. Hotel accommodations were also set up for stranded passengers.

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TSB investigators arrived on scene shortly after the plane landed Thursday, and worked through the night. The investigators’ on-scene investigation wrapped up early Friday morning.

Heather Hamilton said after TSB investigators finished, both Air Canada and EIA officials would work to clear the runway, which happened late Friday night.

Hamilton said the incident didn’t impact air travel. All flights took off and landed on the airport’s other runway.

 

Plane forced to land at EIA after having mechanical issues, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. Kendra Slugoski, Global News
A Q-400 passenger plane experienced trouble while landing at EIA Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014. Global News
A Q-400 passenger plane experienced trouble while landing at EIA Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014. Supplied, Dave Heath
A Q-400 passenger plane experienced trouble while landing at EIA Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014. Global News
A Q-400 passenger plane experienced trouble while landing at EIA Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014. Global News
A Q-400 passenger plane experienced trouble while landing at EIA Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014. Global News

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*Editor’s note: This story was originally published on Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014. It was updated the following morning and most recently at 10:56 p.m. MT Friday, Nov. 7.