Southwest Jet Slides Off Chicago Runway

No injuries were reported after the plane went off the runway and got stuck in the mud

By Lisa Balde and Natalie Templeton
|  Tuesday, Apr 26, 2011  |  Updated 6:36 PM CDT
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Southwest Flight 1919 was landing in Chicago from Denver Tuesday afternoon when it slid off the runoff and got stuck in the mud.

Southwest Flight 1919 was landing in Chicago from Denver Tuesday afternoon when it slid off the runoff and got stuck in the mud.

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No one was injured Tuesday afternoon after "heavy rain" forced a Southwest Airlines jet off the runway at Midway Airport.

Southwest Airlines confirmed that Flight 1919 was in Chicago from Denver when it slid off the runway and got stuck in the mud.  There were 134 passengers and five crew members aboard.

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines has made headlines recently after a 5-foot long piece of the fuselage of a Boeing 737-300 ruptured mid-flight on April 1.  Continuing their string of bad luck, two weeks later a delivery truck clipped the wing of one of it's planes while on the tarmac in Connecticut.

"We came in kind of hard.  In fact, everybody kind of looked at each other when we bounced on the runway and then we didn't seem to be stopping.  We just kept going and going," said Dale Hortik of Colorado.

"We had to have been doing 60, 70 miles an hour when we went into the grass.  And it sunk deep into the grass.  That saved us.  The pilot did a top notch job," added passenger Jud Brown, also of Colorado.

The plane landed on runway 13 Center, Midway's longest runway, at about 1:35 p.m. It slid off the edge near the end of the runway and stopped near 63rd Street and Cicero Avenue, on the southeast side of the airport.

Earlier, the pilot circled in the air three times above Streator, northeast of Peoria, in an attempt to delay landing at Midway because of weather passing over the airport, a track on FlightAware.com showed.

The Chicago Fire Department was notified around 1:40 p.m., according to a Fire Media Affairs spokesman.

Passengers were safely taken off the plane, a Boeing 737-700, using air stairs and were bused to the terminal, according to Southwest Airlines. Southwest officials said they are working with passengers to get them to their final destinations.

In 2005, an airplane slid off Midway's runway while landing in a snowstorm and crashed into traffic.

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