American Airlines Aircraft Slips Off Snowy Runway, Prompting Evacuation of 53 Passengers at Rochester International Airport

New york — In a harrowing incident at New York’s Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport on Thursday, an American Airlines aircraft, operating as American Eagle flight 5811, skidded off a snowy runway during its landing. The Embraer E145 had made the journey from Philadelphia, and the mishap occurred around 4 p.m.

Despite the challenging weather conditions, all 50 passengers and three crew members on board emerged unscathed, and a swift evacuation of the 53 occupants was carried out. The aircraft, which was operated by Piedmont Airlines, veered off the taxiway on its way to the terminal due to the slippery conditions caused by snow on the airfield.

In response to the incident, American Airlines released a statement, emphasizing safety as their top priority. They stated, “After landing safely in Rochester (ROC), American Eagle flight 5811, operated by Piedmont Airlines with service from Philadelphia (PHL) to ROC, exited the taxiway while in transit to the terminal due to snowy airfield conditions. Safety is our top priority, and we apologize to our customers for their experience. Everyone on board deplaned safely and was transported to the terminal by bus.”

Furthermore, the airline assured the public that the aircraft would undergo a thorough inspection after being towed from the taxiway. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) corroborated this information, stating that none of the occupants had reported injuries during the incident.

The FAA’s statement read, “American Eagle Flight 5811 slid off a taxiway after landing at Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport in New York around 4 p.m. local time Thursday, Jan. 18. The Embraer E145 had departed from Philadelphia International Airport. No injuries were reported.”

According to a report from Fox Weather, at least one of the runways at the Rochester airport, which boasts three runways in total, was temporarily closed to facilitate the necessary attention to the aircraft by ground crews.

A passenger who experienced the event firsthand took to social media, sharing a photo and video on X (formerly Twitter). The initial post read, “My @AmericanAir plane just ran off the runway into the grass at @ROCAirport. Happy landings,” accompanied by an image showing the plane on snow-covered grass. Subsequently, the same user posted a video capturing the moments as passengers disembarked down a metal set of stairs, with firefighters on standby, highlighting the orderly evacuation that took place.

The incident underscores the challenges posed by winter weather conditions on air travel and serves as a testament to the importance of effective emergency procedures and the prioritization of passenger safety.