Plane Skids Off Taxiway at O'Hare

No injuries, plane hit patch of ice on taxiway

An American Airlines flight bound for Washington D.C. on Christmas Eve skidded off the runway at O'Hare airport.

American spokesperson Mary Frances Fagan says flight 1544 headed to Reagan's National Airport left the gate at 6:42 p.m. As it was getting into position to take off around 7:15 p.m., the MD 80 hit an icy patch and slid sideways off the runway onto the grass.

An airline spokesman in Fort Worth said none of the 54 passengers or five crew members were injured and all were taken by bus back to the terminal.

The plane is blocking the way to the runway and Chicago Aviation Department spokesman Greg Cunningham says officials with the National Transportation Safety Board have to inspect the aircraft before it can be moved.
He says he doesn't know when the runway will reopen. But Cunningham says he doesn't expect the accident to have a big impact on flight delays at O'Hare.

Meanwhile, the airline is working to get the passengers on another plane as soon as possible.

The spokesman called the incident "nothing spectacular" and said the plane is still in place until workers can assess if the landing gear is in the mud and if the plane needs to be lifted from the location.

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