All 149 passengers and five crew members are safe but shaken after a terrifying aborted takeoff at Philadelphia International Airport last night. Airline officials say the pilot of US Airways 1702, which was destined for Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was forced to abort takeoff when a tire blew out and the Airbus A320's nose gear collapsed just after 6pm, the AP reports. The plane skidded off the runway at the end of the tarmac, and passengers had to escape on the emergency slides. Two people received medical attention, but there were no serious injuries reported.
Passengers described scenes of terror inside the cabin as the plane briefly became airborne before hitting the runway again and grinding to a halt, with plumes of smoke visible through the windows. "The flight kind of shot up and then bounced down," one passenger tells the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Bounced real hard," he says. "Shot up again, and then nose-dived." But the worst part of the ordeal, he says, was waiting 30 to 40 minutes in the cold for a bus to take passengers back to the terminal.