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Published: Friday, 3/14/2014

Passengers from crippled Pa. plane arrive in Fla.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Passengers evacuate US Airways Flight 1702 after the pilot was forced to abort takeoff shortly after 6 p.m., after a tire on the plane's front landing gear blew out, Thursday in Philadelphia. Passengers evacuate US Airways Flight 1702 after the pilot was forced to abort takeoff shortly after 6 p.m., after a tire on the plane's front landing gear blew out, Thursday in Philadelphia.
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Some passengers aboard a plane whose nose gear collapsed on a Philadelphia runway finally made it South Florida early today.

Officials say US Airways Flight 1702 was heading for Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport shortly after 6 p.m. Thursday when a tire on the front landing gear blew out, forcing the pilot to abort takeoff at Philadelphia International Airport.

The Airbus A320 jet was carrying 149 passengers and five crew members.

Some of those passengers boarded a new flight that landed in Florida early today.

“We started skidding down the runway, people were screaming and crying. It was quite harrowing,” Dennis Fee told WTVJ-TV.

Another passenger said emergency was over quickly.

“All the sudden we slammed back into the runway and bounced, and we go up a little more and we slam again. It happened very quickly, so we didn’t know exactly what was going on,” Larry Grant said. “Almost instantaneously people from the back were screaming ‘fire, fire,’ and so passengers did what they were supposed to do and they pulled the emergency doors over the window, and we started to proceed and the ramps inflated, and we got everybody out. We slid down the ramps, very fast.”

An airport spokeswoman in Philadelphia said two passengers requested medical attention, but no serious injuries were reported.

The crippled plane was removed from the runway in Philadelphia. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.



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