plane on 404

Drivers stunned as plane makes emergency landing on Toronto highway

A small plane made a surprise landing on Highway 404 near Buttonville Airport just north of Toronto yesterday, stopping up traffic for hours as rubberneckers literally got out of their vehicles to gawk at the scene.

York Regional Police warned drivers of what they called the "unscheduled landing" of an aircraft on the major highway's east side around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.

"No injuries — parties are out of the plane," wrote police. "Expect delays with all the people staring at it."

Police later confirmed that the four-seater Cessna 172 was forced to land near Highway 404 and 16th Avenue due to the failure of an engine during takeoff.

Photos show that the plane came to rest in a ditch beside the northbound off ramp to 16th Avenue on the 404.

A flight instructor and one student were aboard at the time. Both were uninjured but taken to hospital as a precaution.

The plane itself reportedly "suffered extensive damage" as a result of the crash.

York Regional Police closed off 16th Avenue from 404 to Woodbine in both directions as a result of the incident, but it had reopened by 6 p.m.

Drivers who tweeted about the crash seemed more fascinated (and relieved that nobody had been hurt) than annoyed by the traffic delays.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said on Sunday that it had deployed a team of investigators to Toronto/Buttonville Airport to "gather information and assess the occurrence."

Lead photo by

@IHearSimon


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