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Student wins CP Picture of the Year for shot of Air France plane crash
Canadian Press
May 5, 2006

TORONTO (CP) - When an Air France jet crash-landed at Toronto's Pearson International Airport in August 2005, passenger Eddie Ho managed to capture images of the disaster even as he fled for his life.

"There was thunder, there was lightning, there was wind, there was rain, there was fire, there was crying - it was something like all hell has broken loose," said Ho, 20, a South African exchange student at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont.

Ho's photograph of passengers clambering out of the plane's burning wreckage and fleeing across a field was named Friday as The Canadian Press Picture of the Year in the news category.

Ho, 20, who had his digital camera in his pocket during the flight, said it was just a lucky shot.

"I didn't even aim," he recalled in an interview Friday. "I just put my camera behind my head, and as I was running, I was taking photos."

"It was a very confusing moment ... and you just wanted to get away."

Miraculously, no one died in the crash.

In the sports category, CP photographer Ryan Remiorz took photo of the year honours for his perfectly timed shot of American diver Chelsea Davis crashing face-first into the springboard during the world championships in Montreal. The photograph has also been nominated for a National Newspaper Award.

"I'd like to tell you that it was just my skill and perfect timing, but sometimes you get lucky," said Remiorz, who has been a CP photographer since 1985.

He said there were about two dozen photographers at the event, and he believes only one other captured the impact.

"It was pretty gruesome," Remiorz said. "Once they took her away ... I looked at the back of the camera and said, 'Oh my.'"

Davis fell into the water, bleeding profusely, and needed several stitches. She also suffered nasal fractures and a severely sprained neck.

Remiorz also won Picture of the Year in the enterprise category for his shot of a Montreal homeless man sitting on a bench with his dog - with the animal swaddled in a sleeping bag - as he begged for change in minus-15 C temperatures.

The two winning photos are Remiorz's first Picture of the Year awards.

The awards were selected from the 12 winners of CP's Picture of the Month contest. Photo editors from the news service's more than 70 member newspapers voted on the winners.

Each winner receives $1,000.