A Southwest Airlines plane bound from Baltimore, Maryland, sits on a road along Chicago's Midway Airport December 9, 2005, after crashing through a safety barrier while trying to land during a snowstorm in Chicago on December 8, 2005.
CHICAGO (Reuters) - A Southwest Airlines plane landing in a snowstorm in Chicago slid off a runway on Thursday and crashed through a fence and onto a busy road, colliding with two cars. A boy in one of them was killed.
The Boeing 737, which had flown to Midway Airport from Baltimore with 98 passengers and five crew, ended up in an intersection with its nose on the ground after the front gear collapsed, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said.
At least two vehicles collided with the plane, Chicago Fire Commissioner Cortez Trotter said.
"One of the cars was under the side of the plane, under one of the wings. The other was near the nose of the plane," Trotter said.
A 6-year-old boy riding in one of the cars died, according to a local hospital. The boy's two younger brothers and parents also were injured, a hospital official said.
Of the 11 injured, four were in the other vehicle and three were passengers on the plane that were "shook up" and taken to hospitals, Trotter said.
A witness, Marie Valasquez, told FOX-TV she heard "a loud screeching noise. I thought it was a semi (truck) that had crashed and didn't expect to see the Southwest plane out there."
The FAA said the plane landed on runway 31-C, which is roughly 6,000 feet long and among the longest at the compact airport, which is surrounded by roads and residential areas. Midway was closed after the accident.
Trotter said some fuel had spilled but was quickly contained by emergency crews.
The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the accident and had requested the plane be left where it is until its investigators arrive, Trotter said.
Southwest, which has an excellent safety record, confirmed the accident in a news release and provided a telephone number for people to check on relatives.
The storm, which dropped more than half a foot of snow on the city, had delayed hundreds of flights at the larger of Chicago's two main airports, O'Hare International, authorities said.
A similar accident in March 2000 involved another Southwest jetliner that ran off the runway at Burbank airport in California, ran through a fence and came to rest on a street.
This summer in Toronto, an Air France jetliner ran off the runway in a rainstorm and burst into flames. There were no deaths in either accident.