NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The plane of Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence skidded off the runway after overshooting its landing at LaGuardia Airport Thursday night.
CBS2’s Valerie Castro reports the Port Authority confirmed the 737 overshot Runway 4, with nearly 50 people onboard as it came in for a landing.
No injuries were reported as Indiana Gov. Pence told reporters he is fine.
The plane was carrying Pence, his family, staffers and the press covering the campaign.
“Gov. Pence and everyone on board is fine,” said Pence press secretary Marc Lotter. “There were no injuries.”
Pence headed to the hotel he is staying at following the scare.
As CBS2’s Kristine Johnson reported, the terrifying landing happened just before 8 p.m.
CBS News campaign reporter Alan He said Pence checked on the press to make sure everyone was OK.
“We had no idea we had skidded off the runway until Gov. Pence came to the back of the plane and said we may have done that,” He told CBSN.
He added that these hard landings have become commonplace.
“No one expected anything like this,” He told CBSN.
The plane made a rough impact when it landed. The pilot slammed on the brakes and travelers could smell burning rubber. The plane also tore through tracks of concrete as it came to rest in a grassy area. The FDNY said the 737 went through a fence.
Aviation experts say the ground in that area is meant to give way.
“Basically, it’s a thin veneer of concrete. It’s just like going into quicksand, if you will. It’s a breakaway concrete that collapses under the weight of the aircraft, and stops it,” said CNN aviation analyst Miles O’Brien, adding that if it wasn’t there, “it’s very likely this aircraft would be in the East River.”
Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye said during a press conference that 80 arrestor beds were destroyed, which is a “relatively small portion.”
Foye added that the NTSB will be taking over the investigation. NTSB investigators have been deployed to LaGuardia.
It was raining at the time the plane landed. A law enforcement official told CBS News that it appears a very wet runway contributed to the incident.
Pence says mud splashed on the front windows of the cockpit.
“We can see mud on the front windows,” a calm Pence said in the press cabin about a minute after the plane came to rest.
Thirty-seven passengers and 11 crew members, including Pence, were evacuated through the back of the plane.
“There were no injuries tonight when a charter plane carrying Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Mike Pence and more than 30 others overshot a LaGuardia Airport runway. There was no fire and passengers are off the plane,” the Port Authority said in a statement.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump called Pence following the hard landing and told him he was glad everyone is safe. In Geneva, Ohio, Trump told his supporters that Pence had come “pretty close to grave, grave danger.” But, he added: “I just spoke to Mike Pence and he’s fine. Everybody’s fine.”
A man sitting in his car witnessed the entire thing outside the airport.
“I heard a noise, saw a Trump-Pence plane make a noise, screeching, and came to a stop right here,” said witness Anthony Rizzuto. “I knew something was wrong when you hear that kind of noise.”
Lotter said the Indiana governor will continue with his campaign appearances on Friday. Pence even took a minute to pose with firefighters on the runway after getting off the plane.
CBS News’ Kris Van Cleave reports Eastern Airlines, a Miami-based charter that flies 737s, operates the plane.
LaGuardia was previously closed but has since reopened. However, runway 22 is closed.
CBS2’s Jessica Layton reports the incident caused several flights to be delayed.
“I’m kind of annoyed,” said Mike Mellin of Detroit. “I want to go home.”
It was supposed to be a quick day trip for Mellin in New York City, but now he’s at the airport until at least 6 a.m.
“I’m not going to blame Pence for it, but if I can’t get home tomorrow, it might affect how I vote,” said Mellin. “I’m that borderline.”
One passenger who flew into New York from Guatemala said the weather made him anxious in the air.
“My wife almost cried because it was very dangerous,” he said.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton tweeted that she was “glad to hear” that Pence and everyone onboard are safe.
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