Airbus landing gear collapses in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA — Passengers were evacuated from a Florida-bound plane at Philadelphia International Airport after a mechanical failure.

Airline officials said USAirways Flight 1702 was heading to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when the pilot was forced to abort takeoff around 6:30 p.m. Thursday after the front landing gear collapsed.

The Airbus 320 plane was carrying 149 passengers and five crew, airport spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said. All were rescheduled on departing flights Thursday night, she said.

One passenger asked for medical assistance after the crash but no serious injuries were reported, she said.

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

Video aired by WCAU-TV showed the plane still on the runway as of 7:45 p.m., with its emergency slides inflated.

A call to USAirways was not immediately returned Thursday night.

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