There was another too-dramatic plane landing last night, this time at New York's LaGuardia Airport, where the landing gear on a Southwest plane collapsed. Injury reports vary—the Wall Street Journal puts the figure at "more than 10", and says six passengers and three crew members have been sent to hospital, while four others were treated at the scene. An additional four people also suffered panic attacks. There were 149 people on board. Passengers evacuated the plane via emergency slides and emergency vehicles were on the scene, CNN reports.
Witnesses on the scene described things thusly:
- "It was just a bang and a bounce, and then a slam on the brakes and a skidding feeling," one passenger told Anderson Cooper. "It just really felt like the plane could have broken in half, it was such a hard impact."
- "The aircraft skidded down the runway on its nose and then veered off and came to rest in a grass area between the runway and taxiway foxtrot," the airport's manager says.
- Observers on the ground tell NBC New York they saw a "fireball." The plane "was just screeching down the runway, fire on both sides," one says. "There was debris kind of rolling off to the sides."
- "That nose gear is completely off the plane and the nose is sitting on the ground," a passenger on another plane on the runway tells CBS New York.
The FAA originally said the plane had reported a possible problem with its nose gear prior to landing, but has since stated that a review of air controller tapes found no issues ahead of time. The incident shut down LaGuardia for several hours, but it's running again this morning, albeit with delays stretching to more than two hours, Bloomberg
reports. More than 120 arriving flights were canceled. Delta has responded by waiving change fees on most of its New York flights, including those from other New York airports, USA Today