QUEENS — An air traffic controller at LaGuardia Airport lost contact with the pilots of the plane that slid off a runway Thursday morning and was leaking fuel, according to audio posted by NYCAviation.
“Tower, you have an aircraft off [runway] three one on the north vehicle service road, please advise crash rescue,” workers on the ground told the control tower after the crash, according to the air traffic audio. “LaGuardia Airport is closed at this time.”
“I’m calling up Delta 1086 but no response,” the air traffic controller responded about trying to reach the aircraft.
“Ok, sir, if he comes up he’s leaking fuel on the left side of his aircraft heavily,” the worker on the ground responded.
"You said, leaking fuel?" the concerned controller said. "Affirm, his wing is ruptured."
Responders were able to prevent a fire or explosion and successfully got all the passengers and crew off flight 1086 — which was leaking a gallon of fuel every minute, according to officials — without any fatalities.
The MD88 model plane was coming to New York from Atlanta when it slid off the runway after landing.
It then slammed onto a berm, just feet from Flushing Bay.
Five people were taken to area hospitals and 23 people were treated at the scene and released.
"I think the pilot did everything he could to slow the aircraft down, obviously the pilot and the co-pilot's good efforts were reflected in the fact that there were only minor injures," Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye said at a press conference.
Two separate pilots who landed on the runway before the Delta flight reported “good breaking action” on the runway, according to Foye, who added that the runway had also been plowed just minutes before the accident.”
The National Transportation Safety Board was on its way to the airport Thursday to investigate the crash.