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Iranian airliner skids into street; all 150 passengers safe

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — An Iranian passenger airliner carrying some 150 passengers skidded off the runway and into a street next to the airport in the southern city of Mahshahr on Monday, after apparently losing its landing gear in a hard landing.

No major injuries were reported. The passengers calmly exited the plane from a front door and one over the wing, still with carry-on baggage in hand, according to footage posted on state-run TV's website. The footage showed passengers being helped to the street below by people on the ground.

Provincial airport director Mohammad Reza Rezanian said all of the passengers had been safely taken off the plane.

It seems that tragedy was narrowly avoided, however, as images from the scene showed the plane had ground to a halt not far from a populated area.

The incident comes as Iran is still coping with the aftermath of the accidental downing of a Ukrainian airliner over Tehran. The plane was shot down by the Revolutionary Guard earlier this month amid heightened tensions with the United States, killing all 176 people aboard.

Iranian state television said the plane involved in Monday's incident came in harder than usual and lost its landing gear as it hit the tarmac.

No landing gear was evident in pictures of the plane after the accident, but it was not immediately clear if it failed to deploy or somehow collapsed as the jet hit runway at about 9:30 a.m. local time. The accident is under investigation, officials said.

The flight from the Tehran-based airline originated in the Iranian capital.

Iranian reports identified the plane only as a McDonnell Douglas without being more specific, but Caspian has only the McDonnell Douglas MD-83s in its fleet.

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