Passengers Evacuated After Aborted Takeoff At PHL - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Passengers Evacuated After Aborted Takeoff At PHL

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PHILADELPHIA -

It was a close call Thursday night for passengers and crew on a US Airways flight bound for Florida. They were forced to evacuate after a major malfunction during takeoff around 6:30 p.m. at Philadelphia International Airport.

Investigators are still trying to determine exactly what went wrong. But airport officials say the pilot reported a blown tire and aborted the takeoff. The front landing gear also collapsed.

The US Airways Flight 1702 carrying almost 149 passengers and five crew members ended up nose-down on the runway.

Emergency crews responded to the runway, putting a protective foam blanket around the Airbus A320 jet.

You can see the emergency slides deployed. All passengers were safely evacuated.

Passengers were escorted to a field a safe distance away. The runway remained closed for some time.

Some aboard the plane were able to reach out to loved ones as they were being evacuated. Others recorded what happened.

"Oh my god, my plane just crashed, my plane is on fire," said passenger Hannah Udren, of Lower Merion, who took a video in the moments after the evacuation.

She later spoke to us by phone, saying, "It sounded like we were crashing, and I was so scared."

Passengers had to wait more than half an hour in the cold for buses to pick them up and take them back to the terminal. Police said they erected barriers to try to shield the passengers from the wind and put some women and children in their vehicles to keep them warm.

An airport spokeswoman says two adult passengers asked for medical care, one for an illness and the other for a minor injury, but there were no major injuries.

Later, investigators could be seen inside the cockpit with flashlights.

The biggest concern for firefighters was hydraulic fluid leaking from the bottom of the aircraft. They say there was no fuel leakage.

The airport's runways reopened about 40 minutes after the incident began.

Early Friday morning, the crippled plane was removed from the runway. Now, investigators are trying to determine the exact cause of the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board has taken over the investigation, and airline officials say it's too early to answer some of the questions of exactly what went wrong. But officials say the crew did what they were supposed to in order to protect passengers.

US Airways created another flight to get passengers to their destinations.

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