Airliner’s tires blow out at Los Angeles airport
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Passengers’ nerves were tested but they remained mostly calm as a pair of tires blew out on an Aeromexico jetliner about to take off from Los Angeles International Airport.
“No one was screaming,” said Sara Seligman, a Los Angeles filmmaker who was among the 129 passengers and six crew members on board the flight Saturday. “Once we stopped no one talked to us for five minutes, but it felt like an hour.”
The pilot on Aeromexico Flight 18 stopped the flight on the runway and no injuries were reported.
Seligman said she and other passengers smelled something burning and that police and firefighters surrounded the plane.
“We were getting really nervous,” Seligman said. “The firefighters were hosing down the plane. We were worried that maybe the underside was burning.”
There was no fire, and travelers were safely evacuated and taken by bus back to the terminal where they could board other flights bound for Mexico City, federal officials said.
The left wing of the Boeing 737 received a few small dents, but there was no major damage, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
It was not clear what caused the tires to blow, but NTSB officials don’t plan any further investigation, spokesman Peter Knudson said.
Aeromexico officials did not respond to requests seeking comment.
The runway was shut down briefly until the aircraft was removed, but no flights were interrupted.
About a half hour after the plane came to a stop, passengers were told to collect their belongings and exit the jetliner, Seligman said.
Flight attendants were taking selfies outside the plane, she said.
Only the rims remained where the tires had blown. “I’ve had landings that were not as smooth as this pilot did landing only with two wheels on one side,” Seligman said.
Stephanie Siek in New York City contributed to this report.