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Mon, Feb 18, 2008

No Injuries As WestJet 737 Slides Off Runway In Ottawa

Spokesman Says Airliner "Exited Beyond" Runway

None of the 94 people onboard a Boeing 737 were injured Sunday night, when their WestJet flight slid off a slick runway at Ottawa Airport.

Flight 846, inbound from Calgary, touched down shortly before 2300 local time Sunday, and apparently ran off the runway. The aircraft came to rest in a ditch off the runway end, the 737's nose resting on a snowbank.

There were "no injuries whatsoever," Ottawa Airport communications VP Krista Kealey told the Ottawa Citizen.

Freezing rain fell in the area throughout Sunday, and witnesses say the area where the plane came to rest was extremely icy.

WestJet spokesman Richard Bartrem did not confirm the obvious conclusion, that the plane slid off an icy runway. He acknowledged the plane "exited beyond" the runway (that's one for the euphemism hall-of-fame -- Ed.) and said it was too early to say what caused the incident.

"We are looking into it of course," said Bartrem.

Passengers were offloaded from the stricken airliner, and transported to the terminal via buses.

FMI: www.westjet.com

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