Commuter plane slides off runway in snow; no one hurt

CLEVLEAND (AP) - A 50-seat Continental Express commuter jet arriving from Hartford, Conn., slipped off the runway Monday at snow-swept Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

No one aboard was hurt, according to airport spokeswoman Pat Smith. She said passengers were taken by bus to the terminal.

The incident forced a brief shutdown of the airport, where conditions throughout the day were snowy and windy.

The plane, with the nose gear collapsed, stopped just short of the fence along the north end of the airport, Smith said.

The National Transportation Safety Board was called to investigate.

Jeff Awalt, a Continental spokesman in Houston, said the Brazilian-made Embraer ERJ-145 had three crew members and 47 passengers aboard.

"Continental will review the incident in detail in the interest of safety awareness," Awalt said. He said it was too soon to speculate on the cause.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)