United plane slides off runway at O'Hare

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A winter storm bearing down on the East Coast is snarling air travel nationwide, and officials say weather may have been a factor when a plane slid off the runway at O'Hare. (WLS)

A United plane slid off the runway at O'Hare International Airport upon landing. Some travelers were delayed when they missed connections but there are no injuries.

United Airlines says the Boeing 737 was carrying 179 passengers and six crew members from San Francisco to Chicago. Passengers said most of the window shades were down during landing and they didn't realize something was wrong until the pilot made an announcement.

"They didn't say anything before, it felt like a totally normal landing, and then after we landed they said, oh, we had some brake failure," said Kech Carera.

"I didn't know if it was the brakes or not, but it felt like - there were just a couple little bumps and that was it," said Todd White.

"It started out as a normal landing, plane touched down, he started to apply the brakes and it just started to skid out a little bit, and then we got to the end of the runway and he went to the side a little bit, you know, I think he did a good job," said Brian Clark.



A passenger on the flight 734, Don Dodge, shared photos of emergency vehicles by the plane.



"Everyone is fine and calm. I've flown 2 million miles and never seen this before," Dodge wrote.

Speaking with ABC7 Eyewitness News, Dodge said the landing was very smooth but upon touching down the plane simply did not slow. Instead it began sliding and continued off the runway.


Emergency crews brought stairs and the airport provided buses to bring passengers to the terminal.

For the Patel family, the young travelers found the entire ordeal to be quite an adventure.

"We were about to land at the airport and all of a sudden me and my dad hear a screeching that sound like the wheels were screeching underneath the seats," said Arjun Patel.

"Everyone is safe and sound and that's all that matters," said Bhumi Patel.

EAST COAST WEATHER IMPACTS TRAVEL

The winter storm bearing down on the East Coast is also causing some travel madness in the Midwest. Friday evening, O'Hare was reporting delays averaging 40 minutes due to weather on the East Coast, and over 200 cancellations. Midway Airport is reporting a handful of delays and over 60 cancellations. Both planes and flight crews have had trouble arriving and departing on time.

There have also been last-minute cancellations. One pair of travelers had planned on a one-day business trip from New Jersey to Chicago and now find themselves stuck here.

"The communication, in terms of updates, is still kind of lagging. So the best recommendations from airlines is that we should still come to the airport, stand on line, and wait for the next available opening for a flight. I feel like there's potentially more efficient ways to go about doing that," said Patrick Callahan.

Travelers at O'Hare said that despite the delays and cancellations they're glad to hear airlines are exercising caution considering the winter storm.
Related Topics:
newsohare airportUnited AirlinesChicago - O'Hare
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