Landing gear on Southwest jet collapses, 11 hurt

Eleven people suffered minor injuries Monday when the nose gear of a Southwest Airlines jetliner collapsed after landing at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, the city’s Port Authority reported.

The injured included six passengers and five crew members, Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman said. The nose of the blue-and-orange jet came to rest on the tarmac after the aircraft came to a stop, and passengers evacuated the aircraft on emergency slides.

A total of 150 people were aboard Southwest Flight 345 from Nashville, Tennessee. LaGuardia was closed to arriving flights as emergency vehicles surrounded the disabled jet, but the airport was back open for arrivals and departures by 7 p.m., Coleman said.

Initially, the Federal Aviation Administration said the crew reported a possible nose gear problem before landing, but later amended that to say that after it reviewed air controller tapes, no issues were noted ahead of time.

Southwest, the nation’s largest domestic carrier, confirmed an emergency in New York with Flight 345 and said it would provide further details later. The National Transportation Safety Board was aware of the incident and sent an investigator to the scene.

The incident followed a runway crash of an Asiana jetliner in San Francisco last month that killed three people and injured more than 180 others.

Investigators in that crash will not determine a cause for several months at least but initial attention has focused on actions of the crew during approach.

The 737 has a conventional hydraulic landing gear system — a unit under each wing and a steerable wheel that extends from under the nose. Pilots can land safely with only the main gear operable and such incidents occur from time to time.
TM & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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