Updated: March 14, 2014, 3:49 a.m.
The nose gear of a U.S. Airways flight buckled as it was taking off from Philadelphia Airport on Thursday evening, causing the front of the plane to crash and skid across the tarmac. All 149 passengers and five crew members have been safely evacuated. Rescue workers said one had suffered minor injuries.
U.S. Airways Flight 1702 was taking off from Philadelphia International Airport around 6:30 p.m. when a tire blew out, forcing the pilot to make a hard stop. Eyewitnesses told CNN they saw the nose of the plane come down with a “bounce” and skid across an open field, churning up a massive cloud of dust.
Passengers evacuated the Airbus A320 using inflatable slides. Some tweeted photos of the plane resting nose-down in the grass. “So my plane just crashed…” wrote one apparent passenger on Twitter. Another posed in front of the crash site for a startling selfie.
Air traffic at Philadelphia International Airport came to a temporary halt, delaying incoming and outbound flights for upwards of two hours. Meanwhile, U.S. Airways promptly arranged for another plane to take the shaken passengers of flight 1702 to Fort Lauderdale. It was scheduled for departure that very same night.
“There’s maybe a couple that chose not to go, which is fine,” a spokesperson told CNN, adding that the “majority” had chosen to get back on board.
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