A Canadian woman who was struck in the head when a propeller smashed through the fuselage of an AirCanada flight miraculously survived with only minor injuries.
Christina Kurylo is now recovering from a concussion. She was sitting in a window seat when Air Canada Express Flight 8481 blew a tire and had to attempt an emergency landing in Edmonton last Thursday evening.
Kurylo, who works at a Grande Prairie radio station, was on the dual-engine prop plane with 71 other passengers. Her co-worker, Melissa Menard, who was also aboard, told the Globe and Mail that the emergency landing seemed to go well at first. Then suddenly, the right side landing gear collapsed and sent the plane tilting to that side.
"You could feel that we were dragging on the ground. You could smell the hot asphalt and the hot metal just ripping through the ground. It almost felt like the plane was going to just turn over we were going so fast," passenger Lee Swaile told the CBC.
That's when the propeller snapped off and sliced into the fuselage, right were Kurylo was seated.
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) November 10, 2014
“All of a sudden, something came crashing through my window and I got hit in the head,” Kurylo told CTV on Saturday. She said her memory of the event is spotty, but that a fellow passenger stayed with her and got her off the plane once the cabin began to fill with smoke.
Menard said that Kurylo's face was bruised and studded with bits of plexiglass when she found her being treated by paramedics. But apart from the bruises, it turns out Kurylo only suffered a concussion and a sore neck.
She considers herself lucky to be alive.
"I'm really lucky. It could have been a million times worse," Kurylo told Global News. "I could have died... You never know what could have happened."
CTV reports that the model of plane involved in the crash was a Jazz Aviation Bombardier Q-400, "the same type of plane that Scandinavian Air grounded in 2007 after a number of crash-landings linked to faulty landing gears."
Jazz Aviation spokesman Manon Stuart told the Globe and Mail that there is "no reason to question the safety of the Q400 aircraft [because]... The cause of this incident is still unknown."