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70+ passengers bussed to terminal after landing goes wrong at Reagan National Airport

Two of the airport's three runways closed, setting off a string of delays.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Flights out of Reagan National Airport faced delays Saturday after a plane popped its tires after landing -- closing down two of the airport's three runways, according to Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (M.W.A.A.). 

Incoming American Airlines flight 4965 from Memphis, operated by Republic Airways, experienced issues as the tires on its main landing gear blew after landing around 4 p.m., M.W.A.A. said. 

There were 75 people on board, 71 of them were passengers and four were crew members, American Airlines said. They were all safely transported from the plane to the terminal, according to M.W.A.A. 

Runways 1/19 and 15/33 closed while crews assessed the situation. 

By around 6 p.m., two of the airport's three runways had opened and air traffic resumed, according to Reagan National Airport. Two hours later, the disabled plane had been towed away and all three runways were back open.

But, many travelers were still awaiting updates on their flights. Katherine Grapp, a student in nurse practitioner school, was concerned about making it to her on-campus clinicals at 7 a.m. in North Carolina. 

With no updated departure time, Grapp wasn't sure how to formulate her next move.

"At some point, you go home you get in your car and you drive," Grapp said. "They anticipate, they plan...but when you have business to tend to tomorrow morning, 'should' and 'hope' is not what you can go on necessarily."

The airline has apologized to passengers affected by the unexpected landing failure as it deals with the residual impacts of having to shut down two runways.

Grapp just hopes it doesn't lead to her failing her class.

Passengers flying to or from Reagan National on Saturday should reach out to their airline for the latest information on their flight status, M.W.A.A. said.

Meanwhile, other travelers posted about the disruption on social media.

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