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Oct 4, 2014 6:53 PM

Blown tires stop takeoff at Los Angeles airport

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) A pair of tires blew out on an Aeromexico jetliner as it was getting ready to take off from the Los Angeles airport early Saturday, prompting the pilot to stop the plane on the runway.

There were no injuries reported among the 129 passengers and six crew members on board Aeromexico Flight 18, in an incident a passenger described as calm, if nerve-wracking.

"No one was screaming," said Sara Seligman, a Los Angeles filmmaker. "Once we stopped no one talked to us for five minutes, but it felt like an hour."

She said she and other passengers smelled something burning and that police and firefighters surrounded the plane.

"We were getting really nervous," Seligman said. "The firefighters were hosing down the plane. We were worried that maybe the underside was burning."

There was no fire, and travelers were safely evacuated and taken by bus back to the terminal where they could board other flights bound for Mexico City, federal officials said.

The left wing of the Boeing 737 received a few small dents, but there was no major damage, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

It was not clear what caused the tires to blow, but NTSB officials don't plan any further investigation, spokesman Peter Knudson said.

Aeromexico officials did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.

A preliminary report from the Federal Aviation Administration indicated the left landing gear had collapsed, but Knudson later said that wasn't the case.

The runway was shut down briefly until the aircraft was removed, but no flights were interrupted.

About a half hour after the plane came to a stop, passengers were told to collect their belongings and exit the jetliner, Seligman said.

Flight attendants were taking selfies outside the plane, she said.

Only the rims remained where the tires had blown. "I've had landings that were not as smooth as this pilot did landing only with two wheels on one side," Seligman said.


Stephanie Siek in New York City contributed to this report.


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