Plane skids off the runway at IAH

Tom Abrahams Image
Monday, April 13, 2015
United plane skids off runway at Bush IAH
The flight from Las Vegas went off the runway early this morning

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Flight 1545, a Boeing 737, traveling to Houston from Las Vegas, was routine -- until it landed.

Dana Sherman was a passenger on the plane. He says after traveling more than a million miles with United, he knew something was happening, but nobody panicked.

"We kinda had a hard landing. When we came down it was like, 'bam,' and I was like, OK, that's a little different," he told Eyewitness News. "It wasn't like somebody got on and said brace for impact. Or people running around. It was very, very calm."

He took photographs after getting off the plane -- a process which he says took two hours as responders determined the best way to get passengers from their seats and safely to the tarmac.

One of the photos appears to show the plane's right wing is badly damaged.

United tells us nobody was injured among the 167 passengers and 6 crew members aboard---and they eventually deplaned through the rear exit using stairs. The Houston Airport system says there was never a disruption to flight operations, and that United is responsible for removing the aircraft from the field alongside the tarmac.

Donna Mason, another passenger, said everyone remained calm and the crew did an outstanding job. But she says it was a rough landing.

"We had a very hard landing, nose first," she said. "Very hard landing and skidded off the runway. She says the passengers were told they'll get their luggage eventually, once the plane is pulled onto the tarmac.

United Airlines told Eyewitness News it expected to have the plane out of the mud by late afternoon or early evening Monday.

Dana Sherman is just glad to be on solid ground.

"We made it," he said. "There were no serious casualties, and my hat's off to United and their flight attendants and their pilot."

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating and confirms that despite one runway being temporarily closed, no flight operations were interrupted at Bush Intercontinental Airport.