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Southwest Airlines Flight Slides Off Runway At Midway

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A Southwest Airlines jet skidded off the runway at Midway. (CBS)

A Southwest Airlines jet skidded off the runway at Midway. (CBS)

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UPDATED: 4/26/11 6:22 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Southwest Airlines flight slid off the runway at Midway Airport this afternoon and came to a stop in muddy turf.

Flight 1919 was arriving from Denver when the accident occurred just after 1:30 p.m. Fire Department crews are on the scene to help remove passengers from the plane. There were 144 people on board.

The Boeing 737 veered off Runway 13C, and came to a halt in the grass about 130 feet from Cicero Avenue on the southeast corner of the airport, according to the FAA. There was heavy rain in the area at the time of the landing.

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That runway remained closed after the accident but other runways at the airport were open, the FAA said.

There were no reports of injuries, according to Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.

“We have assisted in getting 144 people off the aircraft – that’s crew and passengers.” Langford said. “We have ambulances on the scene, talking to people, making sure everyone’s good.”

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

In December, 2005, a Southwest flight skidded off the runway at Midway while landing in a snowstorm and crashed into automobile traffic, killing six-year-old Joshua Woods. At least three cars were hit when the plane came to a halt on Central Avenue just outside the airport boundary.

The airport installed de-acceleration zones at the end of the runways after that accident. The plane on Tuesday did not enter that area, but veered off to the left before stopping about a plane’s length from the airport boundary near Cicero Avenue

Earlier this year, Southwest grounded its fleet of 737s after a part of the fuselage on one plane was torn off during flight. The airline discovered cracks in the skin of five aircraft.

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