QUEENS, N.Y. (PIX11) — A Delta plane with more than 120 souls on board skidded off a snowy runway and into a chain-link fence during landing at LaGuardia Airport Thursday as a late winter storm hammered the region, covering the tarmac in inches of snow.
Delta Flight 1086 slid off the runway shortly after 11 a.m. as it came in for a landing on Runway 13, the airline said. The flight left Atlanta at 9:05 a.m. and all passengers have been evacuated from the plane, which came to a rest against a chain-link fence that borders a body of water.
“Thank god it wasn’t worse, because we came within a hairbreadth of a tragedy,” aviation attorney Justin Green told PIX11 News.
At least six people suffered minor injuries and one person was transported to a hospital, according to officials at the scene.
The 125 passengers and five crew members managed to get off the plane using an aircraft slide then walked across the snowy tarmac and have been moved to the terminal on buses, according to a statement from Delta. Among those passengers were Giants tight end Larry Donnell and star of Bravo’s docu-series “Jersey Belle” Jaime Primak.
An investigation is underway to determine what caused the terrifying incident. All runways at LaGuardia are closed with no estimated time of reopening given, the airport said.
A spokesman for the Port Authority, which operates the airport, said the plane appeared to be leaking fuel.
Witnesses on and off the MD-80 jet reported the crash on social media, posting photos and videos of the aftermath. In those images, the Delta plane is pushed against a fence off the runway, which was covered in snow as a winter storm slammed the region.
As much as 7 inches of snow is expected to fall on that part of Queens by the time the storm moves out late Thursday, according to PIX11 News’ Weather Center meteorologists. It had been snowing already for several hours when the crash occurred.