Panic on the runway

, Posted: Fri, March 14 2014 at 12:52 PM, Updated: Fri, March 14 2014 at 12:56 PM

Philadelphia, Pa. -- (NBC News)  A routine trip from Philadelphia to Florida became a terrifying ride for passengers of US Airways Flight 1702 Thursday evening.

Passengers were forced to evacuate the plane when a tire on the front landing gear blew during take off.

Airport officials say the plane was departing Philadelphia International Airport headed for Fort Lauderdale, Florida when the aircraft experienced a mechanical failure.

The pilot aborted take off and the Airbus A-320 skidded to a stop, nose down on the runway.

"There was a lot of screaming and crying," passenger Dennis Fee said as he described the chaos that ensued in the moments following an emergency aboard US Airways Flight 1702.

As quickly as the A320 Airbus lifted off at 6:25 p.m., it came crashing back down.

"As we first hit the ground, flight attendants were yelling to keep our heads down," said Fee.

At the time of the emergency evacuation, 149 passengers and five crew members were aboard, according to airport officials.

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