Safety System Helps Stop Southwest Jet’s Skid On Burbank Runway

Southwest 737 Overruns Runway

Photos: Southwest Plane Slides off Wet Runway at Burbank Airport

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor says the plane came to a stop in a graded area created to slow aircraft that overshoot the runway. The accident happened during a heavy downpour, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The flight, traveling from Oakland, California, to Hollywood Burbank Airport, landed at 9:03 a.m. PST in the rain, according to NBC Investigations reporter Andrew Blankstein.

The airport is open, and all airlines are operational, the airport tweeted. Some flights were canceled or delayed.

There were 117 people aboard the plane and no reports of injuries, the FAA said.

The airline is refunding the cost of the passengers' roundtrip airfare and rebooking trips for those with connecting flights, a Southwest Airlines spokesperson said.

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Reported visibility was about one mile with a ceiling of 1,300 feet. The area was experiencing heavy rain - up to a half inch in an hour at one point, and a flood advisory is in effect for Los Angeles County, where the airport is located.

The FAA implemented a ground stop that kept incoming flights in the air for an extra 45 minutes. It was raining heavily in the area at the time.

The jet's skid was stopped thanks to a little-known safety system called Engineered Materials Arresting System.

The plane made visible tracks in the airport's EMAS. "Just beyond the barrier were several cars that would have been taken out".

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