Passengers, officials take to social media after LaGuardia jet crash


An inbound Delta passenger jet slid off Runway 13 at LaGuardia Airport on Thursday morning, crashing into a fence a few feet from the East River and prompting the airport to shut down for several hours.

The crash ripped off Delta Flight 1086’s front nose gear and the cockpit hung out over Flushing Bay, according to CNN, but all 127 passengers (along with five crew members) were able to exit the plane. Three passengers were transported to nearby hospitals and 24 people suffered injuries, but none were life-threatening.

“You didn’t feel the wheels take,” Jared Faellaci, a passenger on Flight 1086, told CNN. “Then it was a matter of, ‘Where we are going to end up?’”

[RELATED: Get your crisis communications plan in order with tips from our Chicago event.]’s meteorologist Chris Dolce said there was “moderate snow and a quarter-mile visibility” at the time of the crash at the airport in Queens, New York.

Delta issued three statements regarding the crash. The airline’s most recent statement said Delta had about 230 cancellations at LaGuardia Airport on Thursday and was “proactively assisting customers with their travel.” The statement also included the following information about the plane:

The MD-88 involved in today’s incident was delivered new to Delta in 1987. The aircraft last had a major maintenance overhaul in December 2010. These overhauls are performed every seven or eight years, depending on aircraft type. Its most recent maintenance service check was March 3, 2015.

The story broke on Twitter and became a worldwide trending topic as passengers both on Flight 1086 and others inside LaGuardia Airport live-tweeted information. Additional passengers posted pictures on Instagram.

Passengers on Flight 1086 also took pictures and videos of their evacuation, sharing them across social media platforms.

It didn’t take long for both news stations and individual journalists to add to the developing story on Twitter with updated accident reports, along with eyewitness accounts.

Official Delta Airlines, New York Airport and Port Authority Twitter accounts also kept travelers up to date:

Originally, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that LaGuardia Airport would remain closed until 7 p.m. EST, but the outbound runway opened up around 2 p.m. to clear airport congestion. The inbound runway was still closed as of 5 p.m. local time.

Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye issued an official statement at a press conference Thursday afternoon. From Gothamist:

The pilot and the co-pilot’s good efforts were reflected in the fact there were only minor injuries…The FAA decides which runways are used, which approach pilots use, and its up to the pilots to accept the designation of the FAA.

Foye also said the crashed flight’s fuel spill was “minor” and “was leaking out at a rate of about a gallon a minute.” The leak was stopped.

The fate of Thursday’s inbound Delta flight at LaGuardia Airport was far better than that of USAir Flight 405 in March 1992. According to PIX11, a takeoff accident sent that plane into Flushing Bay; there were 27 fatalities.

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