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Driver-less van rolls onto Toronto runway

March 15, 2013 at 6:28 PM   |   Comments

TORONTO, March 15 (UPI) -- An Air Canada jetliner landed at Toronto's airport despite being ordered to abort twice because a driver-less van had rolled onto the runway, officials say.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Friday the Transportation Safety Board of Canada was investigating the Monday night incident at Pearson International Airport, which involved Air Canada Flight 178 from Edmonton, Alberta.

Investigator Ewan Tasker told CBC News the incident was "quite serious" and "highly unusual."

The CBC said an Air Canada incident report showed the flight crew was told twice to pull up and circle around but landed anyway. The flight crew later told Transport Canada they thought the order was not directed at them and never saw the van.

The CBC said the unoccupied Sunwing Airlines cargo van rolled slowly for about 3 minutes, crossing the nearly 200-foot-wide runway. The keys were in the ignition, the transmission was in gear, and its lights and orange airport beacon on.

The report stated the van's driver was servicing a Sunwing Boeing 737 and "came out of the aircraft to discover the van was missing." Tasker said the van's mirror made contact with the outside of an engine on the stationary aircraft.

Investigators had yet to determine how close the Air Canada jet came to the van. There was no report on how many passengers were aboard the plane.

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