Southwest Airlines Flight 1455 Avoids Disaster After Sliding Off RunwayAired March 6, 2000 - 2:22 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DONNA KELLEY, CNN ANCHOR: A Southwest Airlines jet has been removed from a busy street in Burbank, California, where it came to rest last evening after skidding off the runway. More than a dozen people were hurt, but none seriously. Clearly, it could have been much worse.
We get the latest from CNN's Greg LaMotte.
GREG LAMOTTE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Passengers said the plane was traveling too fast when it hit the runway. Seconds later, the Southwest 737 from Las Vegas to Burbank skidded off the runway, crashed through an airport fence, crossed a five-lane highway, hit two cars and came to a rest just short of a gas station.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm watching the Chevron station approach, and that had me nervous, and it was just some miracle; somebody stopped that plane.
LAMOTTE: A handful of people, including the pilot, were taken to a local hospital with minor injuries. They were treated and released. The passengers in the cars were not hurt but said they were in a state of shock. Five crew members were on board, along with 137 passengers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People were yelling, we've got to get off, because things were falling down from the ceiling, the panels were falling down from the ceiling.
LAMOTTE: The plane came to a rest nose down, it's front landing gear destroyed, shortly after 6:00 p.m. local time Sunday. The wings were badly damaged, the fuselage was cracked and pieces of fence were embedded in the plane's engines.
HERB KELLEHER, SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CEO: I would have to say, from looking at the scene as I've seen it, it appears that there's a good chance it might be a total loss.
LAMOTTE: Cranes were used to lift the plane and help push it back through the fence it crashed into eventually to be taken to a hangar for investigation. The plane received a service check March 2nd. The airline says no anomalies were discovered. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident, which could have been disastrous had the plane actually crashed into the gas station.
Greg LaMotte, CNN, Burbank, California.
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