A jet managed to skid completely off the runway on Thursday at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. The mishap is blamed on the bad weather brought on by Winter Storm Thor. The Delta Air Lines jetliner was carrying 130 passengers, including five crew members. The time of the incident was reported as 11:10 a.m.
The jet had arrived at LaGuardia following a morning flight from Atlanta. Although the plane managed to land, the Delta jetliner was unable to come to a complete stop. The plane skid off the runway and crashed through a fence.
Emergency crews responded to the incident and are said to still be on the scene. National Transportation Safety Board members were also reported as heading to LaGuardia. The Federal Aviation Administration announced that the airport is currently closed.
Fortunately, there were no serious injuries reported as a result of the crash. All passengers were quickly evacuated from the jet and taken by bus to the terminal.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Joe Pentangelo stated that the plane was leaking fuel.
According to Aaron Smith, who was a passenger on the jet, the left wing of the plane was sheared off during the rocky landing at LaGuardia Airport. When asked how he felt after the startling incident, Smith replied that he was “a little shaken up.”
“I don’t think [the crash] is going to sink in until tomorrow.”
New York Giants tight end Larry Donnell was also on the Delta jetliner in question.
“I’m blessed to be safe and sound after our plane skidded off the runway at LaGuardia Airport today. I feel fine physically and hopefully all the other passengers did not have any significant injuries. We were all shocked and alarmed when the plane started to skid, but most importantly, as far as I know, all of the passengers and flight crew were able to exit the plane safely.”
Officials are continuing to investigate at LaGuardia Airport in an effort to reach an official conclusion as to what went wrong. For now, the unofficial consensus is that the horrible weather is to blame.
Technician Mike Romps of the New York City Emergency Medical Service arrived not too long after the plane went off the runway. According to Romps, the jet landed in “blizzard-like” conditions. The technician said that visibility couldn’t have been more than “30 yards, tops.”
Images of the runway show that there is a lot of snow and ice to contend with, which, when combined with visibility issues, makes for a very unsafe situation.
— Gary Carmell (@gcarmell) March 5, 2015
The FAA expects that LaGuardia Airport will reopen at approximately 7 p.m., as this is the same time that the winter storm warning is expected to be lifted.
UPDATE: Although initial reports said that there were no injuries, three passengers transported to area hospitals.
[Image Credit: Associated Press]