Watch the video above: A passenger records a traumatic emergency landing at the EIA by an Air Canada aircraft.
EDMONTON – A Grande Prairie woman who was one of four people taken to hospital after an Air Canada plane made an emergency landing in Edmonton Thursday night says she feels lucky to be alive.
“I’m really lucky. It could have been a million times worse,” said Christina Kurylo. “I could have died, you know, you never know what could have happened.”
Kurylo was one of five Grande Prairie radio station employees on the plane. She was sitting in row seven when part of one of the plane’s propellers smashed through the window, narrowly missing her face.
“All of a sudden I got hit in the head,” she said. “It was pretty confusing for me. It’s bits and pieces for me after that.”
“The propeller, obviously that didn’t hit her, but the whole inside wall of the plane blew out so she had fibreglass and everything all embedded in her skin,” said her co-worker Melissa Menard who was also on the plane.
“Just from the blow of it happening she had quite a huge head lump and it was quite purple and lots of bruises and scratches.”
Watch below: Christina Kurylo recounts the rough landing
The following picture was supplied by the Transportation Safety Board. Genevieve Corbin with the TSB says the object sticking out of the window about halfway back “is a portion of one of the propeller blades.”
Corbin says a portion of the right propeller blade was partially lodged into the fuselage of the aircraft.
“However, at this stage, we cannot speak about how it got there and the damage that it might have caused. This will be determined as we gather more information,” she said.
A post on Grande Prairie’s ROCK 97.7 Facebook page Friday afternoon said five members of the sales team were on the plane.
The Dash-8 400 series aircraft was en route from Calgary to Grande Prairie when it experienced an apparent mechanical issue.
Gianfranco Barilla was also on the plane, which ended up on its side after the emergency landing.
“As soon as it hit the runway, maybe, I don’t know, a couple seconds after it started skidding on its side,” said Barialla.
“Sparks blowing. You could smell like, it smelled like burned fuel, like you know when you’re welding, so it was horrible.”
Transport Canada says shortly after departure, the aircraft may have blown a tire. The runway in Calgary was inspected and “significant debris was found.” The runway was unavailable for 50 minutes while debris was removed, according to Transport Canada.
“A flight attendant said one of the tires blew up and we were going to switch airplanes in Edmonton,” recounted Barilla.
“People were freaking out when we got out of the plane.”
READ MORE: Small Air Canada plane experiences problem upon landing at EIA
Another passenger told Global News the pilot tried to touch down lightly on the left-hand side of the plane but it bounced, causing the right side to touch down. She said that’s when the landing gear collapsed and the propeller flew off, hitting the fuselage.
The passenger described seeing sparks and a fire.
READ MORE: Aircraft that made emergency landing has history of landing gear issues
There were 75 people on board the Dash 8 aircraft – 71 passengers and four crew members.
Four people were sent to hospital with minor injuries. Three of them were released by Friday morning.
“The sort of least worst scenario is minor injuries like this, so we’re certainly very happy to be in a position that there are no worse injuries than that,” said EIA spokesperson Heather Hamilton.
WATCH: Our Global 1 helicopter flew over the scene on Friday
Runway 2, one of two at EIA, was reopened around 10:30 Friday night.
READ MORE: EIA runway reopens after frightening emergency landing
Watch below: We’re hearing more details about a terrifying ordeal for 75 aboard an Air Canada flight that made an emergency landing in Edmonton last night. Fletcher Kent reports.