Jet engine blasts baggage cart into Charlottetown Airport window

Jim Day jday@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on December 22, 2015

Charlottetown Airport

©Submitted photo

Some hazards of the job are not too predictable.

Take the unsuspecting Charlottetown Airport employee.

The 31-year-old man was sitting in his office Dec. 15 talking on the telephone.

Glancing over his shoulder, he saw a metal baggage cart hurtling towards his office window.

He quickly went to the floor and sought coverage under his desk.

"It was a surreal incident,'' says Doug Newson, chief executive officer of the Charlottetown Airport Authority.

"He said it felt like he was in a movie.''

Newson says the man, who has worked at the airport for five years, is not giving any interviews.

The CEO, though, was willing to discuss the frightening ordeal.

The cart smashed into the window, shattering glass, notes Newson, but the employee suffered only minor cuts and a bruised knee.

He was back to work the following day.

"If he had not seen it (the fast-moving baggage cart) or his reaction had been to turn towards the window, the injuries would have been much worse,'' says Newson.

"We are fortunate it wasn't worse.''

Newson was out of town during the bizarre incident but was informed via a "panic call'' that all was not well at the Charlottetown Airport.

"It was certainly something that I've never experienced before,'' he says.

"I was kind of shocked that something like that could happen.''

What happened, according to a report issued by Transport Canada on Monday, was a jet was moving to be de-iced when the blast of air from its exhaust hit a baggage cart.

The cart was not secured and it was blown into the window of an administrative office at the airport.

Newson says he is hoping to hear back soon from Air Canada on its internal investigation into what went wrong.

He, of course, wants to know if any changes need to be made, such as changing the positioning of the baggage cart.