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Plane's Hard Landing Injures At Least 10, Temporarily Shuts Down LaGuardia

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TWC News: Plane's Hard Landing Injures At Least 10, Temporarily Shuts Down LaGuardia
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LaGuardia Airport was completely closed for more then an hour Monday night after a Southwest Airlines plane flying from Nashville, Tenn. had a hard landing there and lost its front wheel, injuring at least 10 people.

Port Authority officials say Southwest Flight 345 was carrying 143 passengers and six crew members when it landed at a normal speed around 5:40 p.m. on Runway 4.

The aircraft's nose gear immediately collapsed after it touched the ground, and Port Authority officials say the plane then veered into the grass.

Emergency vehicles rushed to the plane and everyone aboard left the aircraft by sliding down the emergency chute.

According to the Port Authority, six people at the scene who were injured were brought to Elmhurst Hospital and another four injured people refused medical attention.

Port Authority officials say four people aboard the plane had anxiety attacks and some complained of back and neck pain after the hard landing.

Four crew members were also brought to North Shore University Hospital on Long Island for medical evaluation on Monday, according to North Shore-LIJ officials.

"I felt like a jolt, like a jerk," one passenger told reporters. "It kind of smelled like something burning, I guess the wheels or the nose."

"The thing crashed into the ground and the font landing gear broke off you were at an angle It wasn't going anywhere it wasn't," said another.

"I got a lot calmer after I got off the plane. And then it was really positive seeing how everyone handled the actual evacuation," said Eric Westmass, one of the passengers.

There were no known resulting fuel leaks or fires, according to Port Authority officials, but emergency crews sprayed anti-fire foam chemicals as a precaution.

Officials on the ground said the pilot of Flight 345 gave them no initial indication the jet had any problems.

The Port Authority says the airport shut down around 5:50 p.m., immediately after Flight 345 landed, and reopened a runaway around 7 p.m.

FAA officials and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the incident, and Southwest officials said they were cooperating with authorities.

Southwest and Port Authority crews worked together to move the aircraft off the runway. They hoped to have the runway open by Tuesday morning but first needed to make sure that there was no debris or damage on the runway.

Port Authority On Southwest Flight 345's Landing


TWC News: Plane's Hard Landing Injures At Least 10, Temporarily Shuts Down LaGuardia
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NY1 VIDEO: Tom Bosco, Port Authority's acting director of aviation, and Captain Lisha Harper, the commanding officer at LaGuardia Airport, briefed reporters Monday night on Southwest Flight 345's hard landing earlier that day. [9 minutes]

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