Scores of passengers narrowly avoided death after a plane skidded off the runway in snowy conditions and crashed through a fence.
Just three minor injuries have been reported following the incident involving a Delta Air Lines MD-80 aircraft at a freezing LaGuardia airport in New York.
Video footage showed passengers emerging from emergency exits on the stricken aircraft, which was reported to be leaking fuel, and trudging through the snow to safety.
The nose of the plane could be seen jutting through the fence at the airport, where the temperature was around minus 3C (26F).
‘We just crash-landed at LGA (LaGuadia). I’m terrified,’ wrote Jaime Primak, a blogger and publicist, on Twitter.
In a second post, sent later, she wrote: ‘We have all been evacuated. Everyone is safe.’
It is thought there were 125 passengers and five crew on board the flight, which had left Atlanta in Georgia just after 9am local time and had arrived in New York just after 11am.
Dozens of emergency vehicles surrounded the plane. The airport was closed, with flights not expected to resume before 7pm local time.
Delta said: ‘Flight 1086 ATL-LGA (Atlanta to LaGuardia) exited runway 13 this morning during landing. Customers have deplaned. Our priority is ensuring customers and crew are safe.’
The incident came after airlines had cancelled more than 1,800 US flights scheduled for today after axing almost 1,700 yesterday as wintry conditions continued to grip the country.