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Landing gear fails

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 sits on the tarmac at LaGuardia airport, after making an emergency landing without its nose gear, in New YorkNEW YORK — Eight people were injured yesterday when the landing gear on a Southwest Airlines jet collapsed upon touchdown at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport, officials said.

LaGuardia, one of the area’s busiest airports, was closed for more than an hour after the Boeing 737 jet landed with its 150 passengers and crew at around 5:45 p.m. EDT.

Emergency vehicles surrounded the aircraft and emergency passenger exits were lowered, TV images showed.

“The aircraft landed on runway 4 and the landing gear collapsed, the nose wheel collapsed,” Thomas Bosco, the airport’s general manager, told reporters.

Passengers on the flight described a rough touchdown.

“It was just a bang and a bounce and then just a slam on the brakes and then it was a skidding feeling. You could tell they were trying to stop the plane,” Kathy Boles told CNN. “It was very clear as soon as we went down that something was really wrong.”

Port Authority spokeswoman Lisa MacSpadden said those hurt during the landing suffered back and neck injuries.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.

Southwest said in a statement that all the passengers and crew had been evacuated from the plane, which took off from Nashville, Tennessee. Airline spokeswoman Whitney Eichinger said the jet had been inspected on July 18.

NTSB spokeswoman Kelly Nantel said the agency “will gather more information on the incident from the FAA and the operator and assess the damage to the airplane. From there, decisions will be made regarding any further investigative activity from the NTSB”.

It was the latest in a string of incidents involving Boeing aircraft, which has faced a rash of problems with the recently launched 787 Dreamliner aircraft. (Reuters)

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