SWA plane skids off runway into mud at Midway

No injuries were reported when a Southwest Airlines plane ran off a runway at Midway Airport Tuesday afternoon. The Chicago Fire Department was called out to help move the jet, which is stuck in mud.

April 26, 2011 7:24:38 PM PDT
No injuries were reported when a Southwest Airlines plane ran off a runway at Midway Airport Tuesday afternoon.

The 145 passengers were removed from the Southwest Airlines plane by portable stairs provided by the Chicago Fire Department and taken to the terminal by bus. Flight 1919 from Denver was landing when it skidded off runway 13C into the wet grass just before 2 p.m. It came to a stop about 120 ft away from the airport wall at Cicero Avenue at 63rd Street.

"I was in the aisle. I look the out the window and I could see that wall and that was my concern there. How close are we coming to the wall and then you could tell when we went off the runway, and it was mushy in the grass there and we sunk in probably a foot or so," Dale Hortick, passenger, said.

"It just felt like a rough landing. It wasn't anything scary until all the water got sprayed where you couldn't see," Jamie Uhler.

"Just praying for my life because you don't know the outcome. The grass, thank God for the grass," said Ronald Smith, passenger.

Southwest Airlines released a statement Tuesday afternoon that read, in part, "The passengers have been safely deplaned from the aircraft using air stairs and have been bused to the terminal. Southwest officials will be working with passengers to get them to their final destinations."

Workers put boards under the wheels of the Boeing 737-700 to get the jet out of the mud. The plane was removed and sent to a hanger for examination, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation.