Southwest plane lands without front landing gear at New York's LaGuardia airport

Eric Pfeiffer
Yahoo! News

*****UPDATED: 10:02pmET*****

A Southwest Airlines plane landed at New York’s La Guardia Airport after its front landing gear collapsed.

Ten people were treating for injuries on the scene with six later taken to the hospital Monday evening after Southwest Airlines Flight 345 skidded to a halt.

“Southwest Airlines flight 345 landed at New York's LaGuardia at 5:40 PM Eastern Monday evening from Nashville," reads a statement from Southwest Airlines emailed to Yahoo News. "The aircraft is a Boeing 737-700. Eyewitness reports indicate the aircraft's nose gear collapsed upon landing. There were 150 people on board including Customers and Crew."

"All Customers have been deplaned and transferred to the terminal," the statement continues. "Initial reports indicate local responders are caring for five Customers and three flight attendants who have reported injuries at this time. Southwest is cooperating with local authorities, and the NTSB has been notified.”

Thomas Bosco, acting director of aviation for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said there were no signs of technical problems with the landing gear before the plane began its landing.

While the airport technically remains open, the FAA said that a ground stop program has been put into effect and that no flights were arriving or departing from the airport while the investigation takes place, as of around 6 p.m. EDT.

A statement from the Dallas-based airline did not indicate the severity of the injuries. Southwest said 150 people were aboard flight 345 when it landed.

The FAA said the pilots “reported possible front landing gear issues before landing.”

"The plane's nose gear collapsed as the aircraft landed on Runway 4 at 5:45 p.m. EDT,” the FAA said in a statement.

La Guardia was closed for air traffic while emergency personnel helped passengers exit the Boeing 737 jet and federal investigators began trying to determine a cause.

“It’s too early to say what happened,” FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford told Yahoo! News. “The plane is on the ground and the nose is on the ground.”

It was the latest in a series of unconventional and dangerous landings at airports around the country. In photos posted across social media, the Boeing 737 airplane can be seen resting with its nose on the runway, which NBC News described as a “nose gear issue.”

Nonetheless, pilot Patrick Smith, author of "Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel. Questions, Answers, and Reflections" and, told the Associated Press that incidents such as the one in New York on Monday night are not as big a concern as the images would suggest.

"It doesn't happen very often, but I need to emphasize just how comparatively minor this is and how far, far down the hierarchy it is," he said. From a pilot's perspective, this is nearly a nonissue. They make for good television, but this is far down the list of nightmares for pilots."