An Allegiant Air passenger jet slid off a runway in South Dakota on Sunday amid heavy snow and crosswinds. The incident took place when Flight 456, carrying 155 passengers and six crew members, was landing at Sioux Falls Regional Airport.
No one was reportedly injured when the flight from Las Vegas skidded off the snowy runway. CBS affiliate KELO-TV reported that the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 slid 20 feet off the runway. The passengers reportedly walked down the plane’s rear stairs and were safely transported to the terminal by airport buses.
Passengers spoke to ABC-affiliated television station KSFY-TV to share their experiences.
“Everything was going good and all of a sudden, the pilot was bringing the plane down. All of a sudden we’re like ok we’re stopped abruptly,” a passenger, Glenda Conrad, said.
Another passenger, Lee Brixey, said: “Saw the end of the runway coming up looking out the window. You could feel it kind of catching and sliding, catch and then slid. Seemed like we were coming in a little hot.”
An investigation is underway as maintenance workers inspect the jetliner.
Allegiant spokeswoman Krysta Levy added that the return flight to Las Vegas had been canceled because of the “rapidly changing weather conditions” at Sioux Falls. Sioux Falls Regional Airport Executive Director said that several other flights were canceled or delayed because of the dangerous winter weather.
Another spokeswoman with Allegiant said the plane touched down at the right position on the runway, but the snow and wind caused it to slide off.
“It sounds like this was something that was different maybe than what we expected. Our crew does a good job of navigating those kinds of conditions,” Allegiant Spokeswoman Hilarie Grey said.