DENVER (CBS4) – Passengers who left Denver International Airport for Newark, New Jersey Saturday were greeted on the east coast with a scary landing. Blown tires and more caused United Airlines flight 627 to skid off the runway. The issue caused visible body damage to the interior, and exterior, of the airplane.
“Wow. That just happened. You just never think of these things happening to you,” said Chris Anthony, a Coloradan who was sitting in first class on the flight.
Anthony, known for his skiing and charitable work, told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas he was flying to Newark to catch a flight to Italy when the plan went off the runway.
“We started bouncing. Definitely something felt like it was immediately wrong,” Anthony said. “The plane went back up in to the air, and then came down nose first.”
More than 160 passengers were aboard the flight, according to a United Airlines spokesperson. Nobody was seriously injured.
“We were in a full-on skid. We started to skid and go off the runway,” Anthony said. “I was really worried it would roll or buckle. But the pilots did an amazing job to keep us in position.”
Anthony started recording video on his phone when the plane came to a stop. Video shared with CBS4 showed sections of the walls in the front of the plane dislodged from the ceiling.
“The cabin started cracking a little bit,” Anthony said.
As passengers exited the flight via emergency stairwells brought to the plane, the captain is heard saying at least on of the plane’s tires blew upon landing.
“It was a close call, but everybody walked away,” Anthony said.
The skid caused the airport to stop flights for a while, causing delays and cancellations. Moving the aircraft off the runway was difficult as weight distribution was a concern with luggage and passengers removed from the plane.
“A lot of people are missing flights,” Anthony said.
Anthony applauded United Airlines crew members for successfully bringing the plane to a stop, and making sure everyone got off the aircraft safely. However, he said the airline might have fallen short when it came to providing passengers with information, and making sure they were able to move on to their final destination in a timely manner.
However, Anthony said he was just happy that everyone was okay and able to go home in the end.
“First world problems. At least we are all walking away from this,” Anthony said.