Florida-bound plane blows tire at Philly airport

Pilot forced to abort takeoff for flight heading towards Fort Lauderdale

Headline Goes Here AP Photo/Matt Slocum

A person walks around a damaged US Airways jet at the end of a runway at the Philadelphia International Airport, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Philadelphia. Airline officials said the flight was heading to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when the pilot…

PHILADELPHIA - A Florida-bound plane's nose gear collapsed during takeoff at Philadelphia International Airport Thursday, prompting an emergency evacuation from the runway.

Airline officials said US Airways Flight 1702 was heading to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when the pilot was forced to abort takeoff shortly after 6 p.m. after a tire on the plane's front landing gear blew out.

The Airbus A320 jet was carrying 149 passengers and five crew members, airport spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said.

Airport officials said the passengers will be arriving on United Flight 9010 at 12:05 a.m. Friday.

One passenger requested medical attention after the crash but no serious injuries were reported, she said.

A passenger on the plane, Dennis Fee, told WPVI-TV that it was "very windy and when the plane took off, the nose of the plane went back down, hitting the runway."

"We were airborne, then struck back down by the nose," he said.

Three of the airport's four runways were reopened within a few hours after the crash, with only the runway where the accident occurred remaining closed, Lupica said.

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