The Boeing 737 taxied from the Calgary International Airport at 7:35 AM and proceeded to take off north on runway 34-16, carrying five crew members and 114 passengers. At 7:42 AM, a loud popping sound was heard 20 seconds into takeoff. The aircraft began to vibrate and veer to the left, and a fire broke out in the rear of the aircraft. The pilot, Stan Fleming, managed to abort the take-off.
An emergency evacuation was ordered as the fire continued to roar. Five people were seriously injured and 22 suffered minor injuries, but no-one was killed. The aircraft was destroyed by the fire.
The fire was attributed to a faulty compressor disc that blew apart, rupturing the fuel tanks. This incident was similar to the cause of the British Airtours Flight 28M disaster that claimed 55 lives in 1985.