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Thu, Dec 08, 2005

SWA 737 Slides off Runway in Snowstorm At Chicago-Midway

ANN Realtime Update, 2333, 12.09.05: A Chicago hospital has confirmed that an eight-year-old boy, a passenger in a ground vehicle struck by the SWA 737 has died. The boys parents and two brothers were also involved in the crash. The parents are listed in serious condition, the siblings' condition is not yet known.

Original Report, 2049, 12.09.05: A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 is reported off the runway after failing to stop, while landing, at the Chicago-Midway airport.

The aircraft went off the end of the runway and through a perimeter fence before coming to rest in a bordering street (55th and Cicero Ave.). There were approximately 90 people on board, and injuries have been reported. The accident occurred to an inbound Baltimore flight (#1248) at 1900 local time. Passengers have been evacuated from the aircraft and bussed to another location.

The aircraft appears to have suffered a collapsed nosegear and some damage to at least one engine. A motor vehicle is also reported to have either been struck by the jet or may have the struck the jet as it came through the fence. Local conditions included gusting winds and blowing snow... runway conditions were described as "slick."

Southwest Airlines Confirms Incident

Southwest Statement: Southwest Airlines' Flight 1248 veered off the runway at Chicago Midway Airport at approximately 7:15 p.m. CST onto Central and 55th Ave. The aircraft, a Boeing 737-700 was enroute from Baltimore/Washington to Chicago Midway.

The aircraft departed Baltimore/Washington at 4:50 p.m. CST. The flight was expected to land at 6:30 p.m. CST. The flight circled Chicago Midway Airport landing at approximately 7:15 p.m. CST.

The preliminary passenger list indicated the aircraft carried 98 passengers with a crew of five, although this is subject to confirmation. The names of any passengers will not be released until the appropriate family members have been notified.

Southwest Airlines' officials are in direct contact with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as they perform an investigation into the cause of this accident.

A toll-free number has been established by Southwest Airlines to assist friends and family members wanting information about passengers onboard Flight 1248. That number is (800) 922-9525. Periodic updates will also be posted on the Internet.

FMI: www.southwest.com

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