'I think we landed': American Airlines flight slides off Chicago runway in scary landing

David Oliver, USA TODAY

A plane slid off the runway on Monday morning at Chicago O'Hare International Airport amid hazardous weather conditions. No passengers were injured during the scare.

"After landing, American Eagle flight 4125, operated by Envoy Air, slid off the runway due to icy conditions at Chicago O’Hare," American Airlines spokeswoman Sarah Jantz told USA TODAY in a statement. "No injuries were reported. All 38 passengers and three crew members were deplaned from the aircraft and are now safely back in the terminal.”

Twitter users circulated footage of the incident, which shows the plane skidding into the  median and its right wing tip scraping the snow-covered ground. Once it comes to a stop, a woman can be heard saying, "I think we landed!"

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Passengers were removed from the plane, which came from Greensboro, North Carolina, and transported via bus to an airport gate, according to Karen Pride, the director of media relations for the Chicago Department of Aviation.

Pride added that the incident "had a moderate impact in overall flight operations at the airport."

Another video shows a first responder speaking to passengers onboard the plane. In the clip, he tells them that ambulances are available for anyone who needs one and advises them not to take their belongings with them when leaving the plane and that their belongings will be brought to them. 

Photos also showed what passengers saw as they disembarked.

Some 770 flights have been canceled into and out of O'Hare Monday, and more than 700 have been delayed, per FlightAware.

In very inclement weather with slick taxiways, the chances of aircraft sliding off the paved surfaces increase, USA TODAY aviation expert John Cox explains.

"It can be safe to operate the aircraft based on previous reports but flight crews may still find that the taxiway is slicker than anticipated due to changing conditions," he notes. "Pilots taxi very carefully when conditions exist where sliding is possible."

He adds, "Runway conditions can change quickly, requiring judgment and experience by the pilot to determine whether it is safe to proceed. This system has worked very well for many decades to ensure the safety of landing aircraft."

And while snowplows and de-icing equipment are helpful, they're not silver bullets.

"Ground crews do a wonderful job of clearing snow and ice from the surfaces, but there are limits to what they can do," Cox says.

Contributing: John Cox

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: American Airlines flight slides off runway amid scary Chicago weather