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US Airways Flight 1702: US Airways jet blows tire on takeoff, skids off runway

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US Airways Flight 1702 was forced to abort its takeoff Thursday night from Philadelphia International Airport after the front nose gear collapsed from a tire blowout. The flight was carrying 149 passengers and five crew members. Two passengers requested medical assistance, but no serious injuries were reported.

According to CNN on Thursday, Flight 1702 was heading for Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport shortly after 6 p.m. Thursday when the landing gear tire blew out, crippling the plane and sending it careening off the runway.

Passengers reported the nose of the plane momentarily lifted off the ground before it came slamming back down on the tarmac. After coming to a halt, emergency chutes were deployed and people exited the plane as it started to smoke. Some were seen running from the plane.

“We started skidding down the runway, people were screaming and crying. It was quite harrowing,” passenger Dennis Fee said.

Another passenger on the flight, Larry Grant, said: “All of a sudden we slammed back into the runway and bounced, and we go up a little more and we slam again. It happened very quickly, so we didn't know exactly what was going on.”

Grant said the cabin started to fill with smoke, and passengers responded by pulling open the emergency doors.

“Almost instantaneously people from the back were screaming 'fire, fire,' and so passengers did what they were supposed to do and they pulled the emergency doors over the window, and we started to proceed and the ramps inflated, and we got everybody out,” Grant said. “We slid down the ramps, very fast.”

Images from the airport afterward showed the plane pitched forward, but otherwise upright, and surrounded by flashing emergency vehicles. One showed the plane at a standstill as some people left from an emergency slide and others got out on the wing. -- CNN

"So my plane just crashed," tweeted one apparent passenger. A short time later and minutes before taking a selfie at the scene, she added, "I almost just died."

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