Southwest’s landing gear missing wheel after plane clipped taxiway at Miami Airport

MIAMI – The landing gear of a plane that landed safely at Miami International Airport on Wednesday was found to be missing a wheel, an airline official said.

The Southwest flight carrying about 142 passengers and four crew members landed safely in Miami after overshooting the runway and skidding off the end of the intersecting taxiway. No injuries were reported.

Southwest Airlines Flight 438 was from Los Angeles and stopped at the airport at about 9:15 a.m. Miami time, airline spokesman Anthony Black said.

“A wheel was found to be missing from the landing gear as the Southwest flight touched down safely,” Black said in a statement. “It is being addressed immediately.”

Portions of Southwest Flight 438 were inspected by the National Transportation Safety Board and Southwest Airlines executives “as a matter of protocol to review any impact on the safety of our guests and employees,” according to a later statement by the company.

The plane had no more than about 100 feet of empty landing gear, said Jim Rounsaville, a spokesman for Miami-Dade Aviation Department.

Rounsaville said about a half-dozen of the landing gear’s tires and part of its wheels came off after the engine exploded on takeoff, and were discovered by the crew as the plane touched down.

The plane, bound for Orlando, landed safely.

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