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Passenger On Air Canada Flight to Dubai Boards Plane, Opens Exit Door and Falls 20 Feet to the Tarmac Below

Passenger On Air Canada Flight to Dubai Boards Plane, Opens Exit Door and Falls 20 Feet to the Tarmac Below

the tail of an airplane at an airport

A passenger onboard an Air Canada flight scheduled to depart Toronto Pearson Airport bound for Dubai on Tuesday night sustained serious injuries after falling approximately 20 feet from an open cabin door.

Air Canada flight AC56 was due to depart Toronto at around 9:35 pm for the 11-hour flight to the Middle East but had to be delayed by more than nine hours after the serious incident on Tuesday.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the carrier confirmed that one of the 319 passengers onboard the Boeing 777-300 aircraft boarded the aircraft as normal but rather than going to their seat proceeded to the opposite side of the airplane and opened a cabin door.

The passenger then fell from the open exit and had to be rushed to a local hospital.

It remains unclear why the passenger opened the door and whether they jumped or simply fell from the aircraft.

The incident happened during boarding while the aircraft was still at the gate, so the emergency slides were not armed and did not inflate automatically.

An Air Canada spokesperson explained that “all of our approved boarding and cabin operating procedures were followed”.

The airline was forced to delay the flight overnight, and the plane didn’t end up departing Toronto until 6:30 am on Wednesday.

In 2018, a member of cabin crew for the Dubai-based carrier Emirates died after falling from the open cabin door of the same aircraft type – a Boeing 777-300 – while the aircraft was parked at the gate during a turnaround at Entebbe International Airport in Uganda.

In the same year, an Air India flight attendant sustained serious injuries including a right leg compound fracture, fractures in both heels and soft tissue injury in her chest, abdomen and lower spine after falling from a Boeing 777-300 while trying to close the cabin door before departure.

Even falls from much smaller aircraft can result in severe injuries. In 2020, a Finnair flight attendant fell around 11.5 feet from the open cabin door of an Airbus A320 after ground staff accidentally moved some mobile steps away from the plane while the crew member was stood at the top of the platform.

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