By Mark Blinch
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, March 29 (Reuters) - An Air Canada plane slid off a runway and suffered heavy damage while landing in the east coast city of Halifax on Sunday, sending more than 20 passengers and crew to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The incident happened shortly after midnight. The airline said in an update on Sunday afternoon that all but one of those admitted to hospitals had now been released.
"We at Air Canada are greatly relieved that no one was critically injured. Yet we fully appreciate this has been a very unsettling experience," Air Canada Chief Operating Officer Klaus Goersch said in a statement.
Air Canada said the Airbus A320 flying from Toronto was carrying 133 passengers and five crew members. The airline did not give the cause of the accident but said it was cooperating fully with investigators.
It was snowing heavily at the airport at the time of the accident. Passengers interviewed by local media described a "big flash" before landing and speculated the flight may have struck a power line, but this was not confirmed by the authorities.
Peter Spurway, a spokesman for the Halifax Stanfield International Airport, told local media that power was out at the airport around the time of the crash but did not give the cause. Power has since been restored.
Photos posted online by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada showed the nose of the airline broken off and one wing badly damaged. (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tsbcanada/16342568434/)
The federal agency said it was deploying a team to investigate the crash.
Earlier this month, a Delta Air Lines Inc jet landing during a snowstorm at New York's LaGuardia Airport also slid off the runway and struck a fence. (Writing by Jeffrey Hodgson; Editing by Gareth Jones)
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