Eppley Airfield reopened, still some delayed flights

OMAHA, Neb. —

Eppley Airfield shut down for a couple hours Friday afternoon after a Southwest plane slid off the runway.  

According to passengers and witnesses, Southwest flight 1643 from Las Vegas landed shortly after 2 p.m., but didn’t make it to its gate.

“We kind of had a bumpy landing and then as he was taxiing he went around a corner and the plane just kinda fishtailed,” passenger Jeanette Taylor said.

The plane ended up in the snowy grass at the end of the runway.

“It didn’t seem as crazy as it was until we looked outside and saw that the plane was completely sucked into the ground,” passenger Benny Salz said.

Within minutes, the plane was surrounded with emergency vehicles. Passengers sent KETV NewsWatch 7 several images showing people on board getting helped off the plane and shuttled to the terminal.

Eppley announced on Twitter that the airport closed around 3 p.m. and reopened just before 5 p.m., although flights may still be delayed or adjusted. Several flights got cancelled and dozens were delayed due to the airport shutdown and continuing bad weather across the country.

Airport officials said there were no injuries reported from Friday’s incident. 

Loved ones eagerly awaited for updates from nearby cell phone lots.

Gary Wells said his daughter was on the flight, and he watched from the airport as the plane slid off the tarmac.

“It just kind of ran out of runway and kept sliding,” Wells said.

Omaha Airport Authority manager Steve McCoy said crews are working nonstop to keep the runways clear of ice.

“Airport crews have been working on the airfield since the beginning of this winter event, treating runways appropriately for aircraft operations,” McCoy said.