Passengers on board a Southwest Airlines jet that slid off a frozen runway at Denver International Airport say they are lucky to be alive after the plane terrifyingly lost control in the last seconds of landing.
Fire fighters and emergency personnel rushed to the scene shortly after 5pm on Saturday with crews heard hastily warning rescue workers over radio waves of an airliner crash.
‘This is not a drill. Rescue One this is not a drill. Respond to the air force on an airliner crash,’ communication obtained by KUSA is heard calling.
‘It had seemed like he was having a hard time getting the plane to slow down,’ passenger Al Rehmka told the news station of their surprise landing in the grass.
‘It was going faster than he wanted it to and then the next thing we knew it was making a strange grinding sounds and he veered off to the right and then there was no runaway underneath us,’ he said.No injuries were reported among the 125 passengers on board Flight 1905 arriving from Metropolitan Oakland International in California.
Passengers awaiting their evacuation Tweeted pictures of the scene drenched in flashing red lights. One showed a fire fighter walking through the aisles.
DIA spokeswoman Jenny Schiavone said passengers were bussed from the taxiway to the concourse after held for two hours on the ground.
‘It was just sort of weird because the flight attendant had just said “and we’re here seven minutes early make sure you tell all your friends” – boom, boom, bump – and then, it was over. We were off the tarmac,’ passenger Linda Carucci told KUSA.
Ms Schiavone said flight schedules and overall DIA operations were not disrupted following the incident.
‘We were talking about how we beat the odds because we were in a plane crash and we didn’t die,’ passenger Darilyn Barney told KUSA. ‘How awesome is that? If you’re going to be in a plane crash might as well be this one.’