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LaGuardia Plane Crash: Ten People Injured

Ten people have been injured after a plane's landing gear collapsed as it touched down at an airport in New York.

The accident left the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 with its nose resting on the runway at LaGuardia.

It forced the temporary closure of the airport, which mostly handles flights to and from other US cities.

Some 150 people were on board at the time.

The airline confirmed the emergency services had helped with the evacuation of the passengers and crew of Flight 345 from Nashville.

Thomas Bosco, the acting director of aviation at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said the nose gear of the plane collapsed when it landed at 5.40pm.

"The aircraft skidded down the runway on its nose and then veered off and came to rest in the grass area," he said, adding that there was no advance warning of any possible problem before the landing.

Television images showed the plane with its nose angled down to the ground and its evacuation slides out. The fuselage was surrounded by emergency vehicles.

Passengers on board the plane saw sparks flying as the nose scraped along the runway, according to accounts given to waiting relatives and friends.

One passenger, Anniebell Hanna, said the flight had been delayed leaving Nashville. Passengers had heard an announcement saying "something was wrong with a tyre".

She said of the landing at LaGuardia: "When we got ready to land, we nosedived. I hit my head against the seat in front of me."

The 43-year-old was among the first to get off the plane, and could smell something burning when she slid down the chute to the tarmac.

Planes scheduled to fly to LaGuardia were held at their origin airports, while those already en route were diverted to New York's other hubs, Newark and JFK, contributing to long delays.

All take-offs were suspended for more than two hours after the accident, but the airport's two runways were fully functional on Tuesday.

The incident came 16 days after Asiana Flight 214 crash-landed at San Francisco's international airport. Three Chinese teenagers died as a result of the Boeing 777 crash, with dozens more people injured.

AskthePilot.com's Patrick Smith said landing gear incidents are not high on the list of worries for pilots.

"It doesn't happen very often, but I need to emphasise 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 non-issue. They make for good television, but this is far down the list of nightmares for pilots."