The airport in Spokane, Washington, was reopened on Tuesday after freezing rain caused a United Airlines Boeing 737 to slide off an icy taxiway.
— #kxly 4 News (@kxly4news) January 5, 2016
The plane was heading from Spokane to Denver, Colorado before it slid off the taxiway at around 6 a.m. local time.
Airport officials say icy conditions are making it tough to get the United airplane back on the runway pic.twitter.com/sfLiZGC1YF
— Molly Trotter (@KREMMolly) January 5, 2016
Spokane International Airport spokesman Todd Woodard told KREM that the front wheels of the plane slid off the taxiway due to the ice.
“At approximately, 6:00 A.M. Pacific Time, a United Airlines 737 aircraft slid-off the southern end of the holding area of Taxiway A.. No injuries have been reported. The Airport is assisting United with off-loading the passengers and getting the aircraft back on the hard surface. This situation is developing,” he said.
Airport flight operations were shut down for more than two hours at the facility to “assure adequate braking conditions have been established,” KREM-2 reported.
— Nichole Mischke (@KHQNicholeM) January 5, 2016
The 166 passengers on the plane were taken off the plane via the aircraft’s rear door. Passengers said the process of being deplaned was slow, but everyone on board remained calm and there was no panic among crew members.
Passenger Austin Ola told local station KXLY-TV that the jet started sliding and “just went off the road.”
Facebook user Mike Kennaugh told KREM-2 that the plane took “an odd turn” before it slammed into the snowbank.