NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A plane skidded off the runway at Newark Liberty International Airport on Saturday afternoon.
This United Airlines plane was scheduled to land around 1 p.m. – but not like this.
The Boeing 757 was partially on the grass near the Terminal C runway for most of the day before being towed off to hangar Saturday night. Authorities say 166 passengers were on board at the time of the incident.
“The plane bounced a couple times then sort of swerved out of control,” passenger Louisa Horn said.
The Horn family spoke with CBS2’s Reena Roy by FaceTime after Flight 627 from Denver made that turbulent landing.
“The flight was fine, but as soon as it landed it hit really hard and both of our kids were on our laps so we held them really tight,” Horn added.
“You definitely think the worst… think the plane might go out of control and hit a building.”
“I was just scared for my kids… mainly grabbed Cassidy really tight and looked over at my wife,” Tyler Horn told CBS2.
The Federal Aviation Administration said it was all because the tires somehow blew out when the aircraft hit the runway.
The plane’s left landing gear got stuck in the grassy area and immediately became disabled.
“You kinda smelled the burning from the skidding of brakes,” Louisa explained.
“The attendants were a bit nervous themselves… don’t think they’ve been through that before,” her husband added.
Several agencies including the Port Authority Police Department and aircraft rescue fire fighter units were on the scene and evacuated the plane.
Authorities reported that some people had minor injuries, but refused medical attention.
All other planes at the airport were grounded for about two hours.
Newark Airport is now operating at limited capacity, with many delays, cancellations, and long lines heading into Father’s Day.
“No one seems to be moving in lines. No one’s moving at all. We’re just trying to get home,” Kellen Karis of Ohio said.
Officials from the FAA and NTSB are working to inspect the aircraft and to figure out how this accident happened.
As for United Airlines, they’re offering anyone with a flight on Saturday or Sunday into or out of Newark a free travel waiver. Flyers can change their flights on the airline’s app or over the phone at no extra cost.