LaGuardia Delays Linger After Southwest Rough Landing

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NEW YORK (KTLA) — New York’s LaGuardia Airport reopened the runway closed after a Southwest Airlines jet skidded into the grass when its nose gear collapsed, officials said Tuesday.


Southwest Airlines plane after its landing gear failed at LaGuardia Airport. (WPIX)

Workers loaded the plane onto a flatbed truck and inspected the runway Tuesday morning, Port Authority spokesman Chris Valens told CNN.

There were two-hour flight delays early Tuesday, according to Valens.

The jetliner was being taken to an American Airlines hangar for further inspection, he said.

The average delay as of 6 a.m. had been two hours and 13 minutes, according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s website.

The incident happened around 5:40 p.m. Monday as Southwest Flight 345 from Nashville was landing on Runway 4, FAA officials said in a statement.

A total of 150 people were abroad the flight. Ten people suffered minor injuries, according to the Port Authority.

The aircraft stopped about halfway down the 7,000-foot runway with the nose of the Boeing 737 resting on the tarmac.

The plane’s emergency slides were deployed to evacuate passengers.

“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,” Thomas Bosco, the airport’s general manager, told reporters.

Passenger Kathy Boles said she felt a “strong jolt” inside the cabin.

“It was just a bang and a bounce, and then a slam on the brakes and a skidding feeling,” Boles told CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360.”

There were conflicting reports about how many members of the aircraft’s crew were among the injured.

Southwest said three flight attendants had reported being hurt, while the Bosco said the six-member crew had been taken to a hospital for observation.

LaGuardia was closed to arriving flights as emergency vehicles surrounded the disabled jet, but the airport was back open for arrivals and departures by 7 p.m., Bosco said.

Initial information from the FAA indicated that the crew reported a possible nose gear problem before landing.

However, after reviewing air controller tapes, the agency amended that to say that no issues were reported ahead of time.

The National Transportation Safety Board was sending an investigator to the scene.

The incident followed a runway crash of an Asiana jetliner in San Francisco last month that killed three people and injured more than 180 others.

CNN contributed to this report.

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