Travelers at ELP react to Southwest Airlines crash

NBC News
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 10:20pm

Within just one month, there have been two terrifying plane crashes on US soil - first, a crash landing of an Asiana Airlines plane at San Francisco International Airport, and then, on Monday evening, a second accident involving a flight in New York.

The Borderland also experienced a similar incident last week at El Paso International Airport. A small, private plane seating 4 people crashed during landing when its nose gear collapsed. No one was injured.

But it's the string of accidents that has airline passengers concerned.

Officials say the Southwest Airlines jet at New York's Laguardia airport crashed on touchdown because its nose gear failed.

"There was a fire truck spraying down the plane. A lot of smoke. So we were all starting to panic. We didn't know if it was going to catch fire and we were right next to it," said Laura Cradeur, a witness at the airport.

It was a scary sight for passengers nearby who saw the aircraft skidding down the runway. The plane was coming in from Nashville and there were 150 passengers and crew members onboard -- all were able to escape.

"The worst part was when the doors weren't being opened and the smoke was coming in. And you just didn't... You couldn't breathe," said Andy and Marianne Sperry, who were passengers on the flight.

Injuries suffered by ten people were all considered minor. On Tuesday, Laguardia reopened the runway where the crash happened.

NewsChannel 9 asked passengers at El Paso International Airport how yesterday's crash in New York is affecting their travel plans.

"I'm always nervous getting on a plane. I left my family to come here. But, it's not going to stop me from getting on the plane. And, you know, just say an extra prayer and get on the plane," said Cressada Brillant from New York.

"I feel bad for the people that are involved but for me, it doesn't make me nervous flying because if it's your time, it's your time, and if it's not, then you'll be fine and you'll be able to go on, but you can't stress about the little things," said Chani Smith from California.

Last month, Southwest Airlines had 30 departing flights from El Paso International Airport.

The National Transportation Safety Board is now investigating the Southwest crash in New York to try and figure out what caused the nose-gear to collapse.

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