According to Perry Cooper, the airport spokesman, the jetway fell about 6 to 8 feet as passengers were inside descending the plane. It was not clear how many passengers were passing through the bridge when the incident happened, but reports say that more than 60 passengers had already disembarked the plane when the jet bridge fell.
Jetway collapses are rare occurrences and airport authorities are investigating the main reason for the issue. They reported that it was caused by a mechanical failure. The bridge did not fully collapse, as it had a large screw underneath that turns when the jetway is lowered or raised. Because of the screw, the jetway bridge fell slowly, which allowed the passengers inside to quickly walk up to the gate.
— Canoe (@Canoe) May 13, 2014
The remaining passengers in the plane got off via a stairway that was brought to the other side of the aircraft.
In addition to the jetway incident, the canvas covering of the jetway was caught on the plane’s door, causing the nose of the plane to tip towards the ground.
On Tuesday afternoon, airport crews brought in a big crane in order to lift the jetway away from the scene and back the plane away from it.
Southwest Airlines released a statement saying that they are thankful that no one got hurt in the incident. They also said that the plane will be out of service for the meantime, while their engineers are inspecting it for possible damage. The airline is also working on accommodating passengers whose travel plans were changed because of the jetway incident.
Flight 570 arrived at the airport from Phoenix and was scheduled to fly to the Chicago Midway International Airport.
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