PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — There were tense moments for passengers of a Delta flight as it prepared for takeoff Wednesday night at Pittsburgh International Airport.
The plane skidded off the taxiway, nearly plummeting into a ravine. Airport officials said they are working with Delta to move the jet. One crane arrived Thursday morning to help clear the scene, and a second arrived later to help take the plane away.READ MORE: Plane With Nearly 80 People On Board Slides Off Taxiway At Pittsburgh International Airport Before Takeoff
Crews worked for hours to get the plane up and out of the ravine. After all the work was done, a crane operator said the plane came out with a few scrapes.
WATCH: KDKA’s Bryant Reed Reports
For the people on board, like Chris Holoman, he says it was a ride he will never forget.
“All of a sudden, we hear a loud crash and then the entire plane just goes… like that, everybody freaked,” said Holoman.
Just like that, the Boeing 717 came to a stop. Its nose tipping over the edge of a ravine.
Seventy-seven people were on board Delta Flight 2231, heading to Atlanta from Pittsburgh. Holoman travels to Pittsburgh from Atlanta every week for work and said the pilot came on the speaker and told everyone to keep their seatbelts on.
“He goes, we are just off the runway a little bit. I went on Google Earth and saw we weren’t off a little bit. We were off a ton,” said Holoman.
This happened around 6:30 on a snowy Wednesday night. The FAA said the taxiway was icy.
Holoman said he’s not sure what to think.
“It took a while for us, because we had to de-ice. It seemed to be like we were lost and we didn’t know where we were going,” said Holoman.
- PHOTO GALLERY: Plane Slides Off Taxiway At Pittsburgh International Airport
Holoman said they were on the plane for about three hours before they were rescued. During that time, he said things got pretty intense.
“People were crying,” Holoman said.
Holoman and another woman on the plane shot videos as they were walking down the stairs in the back of the jet. Then, they were taken back to the terminal on a bus.
Passengers were able to catch a flight to Atlanta in the wee hours of the morning.
Holoman said this won’t be the last time he travels by air.
“I’ve been flying with COVID and I gotta keep flying. But, I’ll always have this in the back of my mind. It’s one thing that will never go away,” said Holoman.
The FAA is trying to determine if the weather actually played a role in what happened.
Delta is also investigating.
An airport spokesperson said two runways remain open and no flights are affected.