Southwest Airlines plane's front gear collapses during LaGuardia landing

NYC Nose Gear Collapse

Bobby Abtahi/AP

This photo provided by Bobby Abtahi, shows what officials say was a plane where the nose gear collapsed during landing at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, Monday, July 22, 2013.

Officials say the front landing gear of a Southwest Airlines plane arriving at New York's LaGuardia Airport collapsed as the aircraft touched down on the runway. The Federal Aviation Administration says the plane landed safely.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says they have "several" accounts of people reporting physical injuries. The extent of the injuries was not immediately known. Officials say four people suffered anxiety attacks.

The Port Authority has temporarily closed the airport.

Melina Andujar and her husband were on the ground when they saw the plane approach the runway, and immediately knew something was wrong, NBC4 reports.

"My husband noticed it was out of shape, like it wasn't supposed to land that way," she said. "He said, 'Oh, my God, I think something's wrong.'"

"The front wheel didn't come out, and it landed on its nose and it started skidding," said Andujar, who saw sparks fly as the plane landed. 

The FAA says the Southwest Airlines flight from Nashville landed at 5:45 p.m. Monday and safely came to a stop on the tarmac. The nose of the plane could be seen on the ground. The plane, which was carrying 149 passengers and crew, was surrounded with emergency vehicles.

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines spokespeople didn't immediately respond to phone and email inquiries.

The FAA is investigating.

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