NEW YORK: An airliner skidded off a runway at New York’s La Guardia airport Thursday and slid to halt just yards from frigid waters, as a snow storm battered the US coast from Texas to Boston.
Heavy snow was falling as Delta flight 1086 from Atlanta careered off the runway, ploughed up an embankment and demolished a fence after its late afternoon landing.
New York firefighters said 24 people suffered non life-threatening injuries, including three who were transported from the scene.
Video footage showed passengers climbing out of the plane through an exit over a wing and trudging through thick snow. The plane’s nose jutted through the fence, suspended above the icy East River.
It was the most dramatic incident on a day in which a huge winter storm forced thousands of flight cancellations, and disrupted life across a broad swath of the United States.
In Washington DC, government workers were ordered to stay home, schools were closed, and museums shuttered for the day as icy rain turned to heavy snow.
Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York were expected to get as much as eight inches of snow, with temperatures dipping well below average in much of the region.
Airports braced for travel chaos, with more than 4,300 flights canceled by Thursday afternoon and more cancellations and delays expected.