Spokane, Washington airport reopens after plane slides off taxiway

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 05, 2016 10:45 AM

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Spokane International Airport in Washington state reopened on Tuesday after a United Airlines 737 aircraft slid off a taxiway, forcing a nearly three-hour shutdown, airport officials said.

No injuries were reported, and the airport reopened for flight operations at 8:45 PST as workers sought "to assure adequate braking conditions have been established," officials said on Twitter.

United Flight 812, bound for Denver, slid off the south end of the holding area of Taxiway A at about 6 a.m. PST, according to the officials.

Airport officials said all passengers aboard the flight were brought back to the terminal, and authorities continued to work with United "to reposition the aircraft back on the hard surface."

Icy conditions made the task more difficult, local media reported.

United Airlines spokeswoman Karen May said 166 passengers and seven crew were on board the plane.

"The plane was on the taxiway when it seems like it may have hit some icy conditions that caused the nose wheels to slip ... Everyone is safe," May said.

May said airline and airport officials were preparing to fly passengers to Denver from Spokane later on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Additional reporting and writing by Daniel Wallis in Denver; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)