A US Airways plane aborted its takeoff after its nose gear reportedly collapsed while leaving Philadelphia International Airport Thursday, sending the plane skidding off the runway.
US Airways Flight 1702 was headed to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., carrying 149 passengers and five crew members, when the incident happened at about 6:25 p.m., FAA spokesman Jim Peters said.
While US Airways initially reported that the pilot aborted takeoff because of a blown tire, preliminary information from the Federal Aviation Administration shows that the nose gear collapsed.
The plane careened into an empty field and frightened passengers, some screaming and crying, evacuated on emergency slides. Some exited on the plane’s wings before sprinting away to safety.
“There was panic on the plane. There was no one in charge,” a passenger told ABC News after the incident.
Passenger Dennis Fee at Philadelphia Int’l Airport: “We were airborne, then struck back down by the nose” – pic.twitter.com/LCpfg0q961
— ABC News (@ABC) March 13, 2014
Two passengers received medical attention, but no serious injuries were reported. One female passenger suffered a minor injury while another had a minor illness, a fire official said.
The airport remained open, airport spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said, although a ground stop – which affects flights that haven’t departed for the airport – is in place. No flights were diverted.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.
Passengers waited hours before boarding a new aircraft and landing safely in Fort Lauderdale early this morning. One of those passengers, Hannah Udren, took a selfie after getting off the plane.
so yup pic.twitter.com/2WuLUWzpND
— skip (@han_horan) March 13, 2014