Air Canada flight evacuated at Pearson airport after brakes seize

Passengers on an Air Canada Jazz flight at Toronto’s Pearson airport were forced to evacuate amid a cloud of smoke after the brakes on the plane seized on Wednesday morning.

Around 8:30 a.m., as Flight 8675 was preparing to take off for North Bay, something seemed to be preventing a wheel from turning, according to passenger Christian Allaire.

“We were trying to turn and then the plane would abruptly stop,” he said. “It did that about three times. It felt like it was getting caught on something.”

Allaire — who lives in New York City and was on his way to visit family for the July 4 holiday — said the pilot asked the flight attendant to check out the problem. That’s when the attendant saw smoke coming from the tire.

“He made an announcement that we have to leave everything behind,” said Allaire, who was sitting in the front row. “He said, ‘Don’t take anything.’ He opened the door and we just had to evacuate immediately.”

Allaire said he noticed a big cloud of smoke outside as he walked down the runway steps.

“I was the first one out,” he said. “I bolted.”

Within an hour they had been bussed back to the terminal and booked on the next flight at 2 p.m.

“I thought I’d be here all day,” Allaire said. “But they were pretty quick in explaining what happened and then getting our stuff back and putting us on a new flight.”

Air Canada Jazz spokeswoman Debra Williams said the problem was the left-gear brake had seized, but there was no fire.

There were 22 passengers and three crew members on board, and no one was injured.

Williams said a maintenance crew will be performing a thorough inspection of the aircraft.

“Never have I had to evacuate a plane with smoke coming out of it,” Alliare said. “That’s a first for me.”

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