Delta Flight 1086 barely missed falling into the freezing water in what many are calling a miracle, after skidding off the runway at New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Thursday morning.
The Delta Airlines MD-88 was arriving from Atlanta during a winter storm when it skidded off Runway 13 around 11:05 a.m., the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, said in a press conference. Miraculously, all 127 passengers and crew were “safely taken off the plane,” the official said.
Photos taken by witnesses show passengers walking back to the terminal in the frigid conditions. Snow had been falling in the area all morning, and the winds were strong when the Delta flight ran off the runway at LaGuardia airport, but it’s unclear if the weather played a part in the accident.
Authorities say 28 passengers had non-life threatening injuries. Of those, five people were transported to hospitals, according to the New York Fire Department. Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye said the runway where Delta Flight 1086 plane landed had been plowed just moments earlier, and two other pilots reported “good braking action” as they safely landed.
Foye said that when the plane landed it veered sharply left — about 4,500 to 5,000 feet down the 7,000-foot runway — skidding off to the side and nearly ending up in the water. The situation could have clearly been more catastrophic had that scenario happened.
Delta Airlines said issued the following statement regarding the crash of Delta Flight 1806 at LaGuardia, which did not end in tragedy by what many are calling a miracle.
“Customers deplaned via aircraft slides and have moved to the terminal on buses. Our priority is ensuring our customers and crew members are safe. Delta will work with all authorities and stakeholders to look into what happened in this incident.”
Thanks to social media, we were able to see just how close the Delta plane came from falling into Flushing Bay. One of the photos in particular, taken from the bay, shows the plane’s nose sticking out at the edge of the bank.
Passenger Jared Faellaci posted a photo from inside Delta Flight 1086, moments after it crashed, to his Facebook page with this caption, clearly grateful to have miraculously escaped with his life.
“View from my airplane window in NYC after our plane crashed. So thankful JESUS kept us from the water. 2 seconds more we would have been in the water!”
“I was holding on to the seat in front of me and I was praying. It literally stopped a matter of feet, as you can see from the photos, from the water itself,” Faellaci told ABC News.
Experts are calling the crash of Delta Flight 1086 a miracle, since it could have been so much worse had it fallen into the frigid waters. The Port Authority is praising the pilots and crew members for saving dozens of lives. LaGuardia was closed for a time, but has now reopened.
[Image via New York Fire Department]