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Newark flight makes emergency landing in Poland

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 4:05 PM EDT, Wed November 2, 2011
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Warsaw's main airport will remain closed overnight
  • The passengers "stayed calm" during the emergency landing, the airline says
  • The plane was carrying 231 people from Newark to Warsaw
  • It landed on its belly after problems with its landing gear

(CNN) -- A Boeing 767 on a flight from Newark, New Jersey, made a dramatic emergency landing at Warsaw, Poland's Frederic Chopin International airport Tuesday after problems with its landing gear, an airport spokeswoman said.

All the passengers on the flight, from Newark Liberty International Airport to Warsaw, are safe and uninjured, she told CNN. Newark Liberty serves the greater New York area.

The LOT Polish Airlines flight, which had been due to land at 1:35 p.m. local time, circled above the airport for an hour before coming down in a belly landing at 2:40, she said.

"After noticing a central hydraulic system failure the standard procedure for emergency landings at Warsaw airport were implemented," LOT said in a statement, saying emergency crews were in place on the ground to assist.

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Video footage from the scene showed the plane coming in to land without its wheels down and skidding along the tarmac to a halt. Emergency vehicles raced toward the aircraft and appeared to hose it down as passengers disembarked.

There were 231 people aboard the flight, 220 of them passengers and 11 crew, the airline said.

The passengers "stayed calm" during the emergency landing, and after reaching the terminal were cared for by support staff and psychologists, the airline said.

They are being allowed to go home after a medical examination and a brief police interview, it added.

Other travelers face significant disruption.

The airport will remain closed until at least 8 a.m. local time Wednesday because the damaged aircraft is blocking the runways, an airport spokesman told reporters.

LOT said all its flights scheduled to leave later Tuesday have been canceled. Incoming flights have been redirected to other airports in Poland, it said, and passengers will be brought from there to Warsaw.

The airport is Poland's busiest, handling almost half its air passenger traffic with about 100 scheduled flights a day, the airport's website says.

LOT, the Polish flag carrier and one of the world's oldest airlines, is currently offering special deals on flights from the New York area to Warsaw.

In 2010, it carried more than 4.5 million passengers, nearly three-quarters of whom were on international flights, its website says. The airline said it aims to offer quality of service and value for money.

CNN's Antonia Mortensen contributed to this report.

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