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Passenger jet leaves runway in Pittsburgh amid snow

There were no injuries reported among the 77 aboard after the Boeing 717 bound for Atlanta left a taxiway amid snowy conditions, officials said.
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A Delta jet left a Pittsburgh runway during snowy conditions Wednesday as it attempted to take off, the airport and airline said.

There were no injuries after Delta flight 2231 with 77 people on board went off the paved surface around 6:30 p.m., Pittsburgh International Airport said in a statement.

The passengers had to be helped off the aircraft.

The plane, which Delta said was a Boeing 717 with 72 passengers and five crew, was due to leave Pittsburgh for Atlanta.

"We apologize to our customers for the delay and inconvenience," Delta said in a statement in part.

There was snow in the area, but it was not clear whether that was the cause or contributed to the incident.

A photo posted to Twitter by a passenger showed the jet in the snow and first responders using mobile stairs at the back of the aircraft.

The photo was accompanied by thanks: "Grateful to be back on solid ground and for the firefighters and first responders that rescued us tonight."

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NBC affiliate WPXI of Pittsburgh reported that because of the nose-first downward angle of the plane, slides could not be used.

Winter weather advisories or warnings stretched in a long band from Lubbock and Abilene in Texas, through southwestern and central Pennsylvania to Philadelphia and Newark, New Jersey, early Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

Earlier this week, what was described as moderate to heavy snow fell in the Pittsburgh area. Between 4 to 6 inches had been observed in the city and surrounding Allegheny County by Tuesday afternoon, according to observations published by the weather service.