US plane makes emergency landing

A US airplane with 146 people on board has made a dramatic but safe emergency landing at Los Angeles airport.

The JetBlue airliner was on its way to New York from Burbank airport in California when the pilots reported a landing gear malfunction.

The plane's front wheels were turned sideways and could not be retracted into the aircraft.

The Airbus A320 circled the airport for three hours to burn fuel before landing safely, live on television.

Smoke and flames were seen coming from the landing gear, but the rest of the aircraft was unharmed, reports BBC.

"We all cheered. I was bawling. I cried so much," said Christine Lund, 25.

Passengers said they had watched their own drama unfolding on the news on in-flight televisions until just before the landing. One described it as surreal to watch. Another said she would have been calmer without it.

"At the end it was the worst because you didn't know if it was going to work, if we would catch fire. It was very scary. Grown men were crying," said Diane Hamilton, 32, a television graphics specialist.

As the plane was about to touch the ground, Hamilton said, crew members ordered people to assume a crash position, putting their heads between their knees.

"They would yell, "Brace! Brace! Brace!'" she said. "I thought this would be it."

The plane landed on an auxiliary runway where fire trucks and emergency crews had massed as a precaution. No injuries were immediately reported among the passengers and six crew members, fire officials said.

"It was a very, very smooth landing. The pilot did an outstanding job," said fire Battalion Chief Lou Roupoli. "There was a big hallelujah and a lot of clapping on that aircraft," informs the AP.

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