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Crew aborts flight when two tires blow out on takeoff from Hector

FARGO — The takeoff of a United Express commuter jet flight to Denver from Fargo was safely aborted Monday, Jan. 9, after the plane blew two tires, a Hector International Airport spokesman said.

About 6:30 a.m., United Express Flight 4629, a 50-passenger Embraer 145, was rolling down the runway for takeoff when two right rear tires blew on the landing gear, said Airport Authority Executive Director Shawn Dobberstein.

The crew then aborted the takeoff and returned to the gate, he said. No one was hurt, he said.

"It does happen. It's not frequent, but it does happen on occasion," Dobberstein said of tire blowouts.

Flights are being found for passengers on board with Delta, American or United, "wherever they have the space available," Dobberstein said.

That could be complicated because a winter storm is dumping heavy snow on Denver, and the same storm could affect flights out of Chicago and Minneapolis Monday afternoon and evening, he said. He urged airline passengers to monitor their flight schedules and be in contact with the airlines on which they've booked flights.

Dobberstein said operations are continuing normally at Hector International, though the runway was closed down for about 20 minutes as airport crews searched for and removed debris from the mishap, and swept the runway to prevent other planes from being affected by foreign object damage.

Dobberstein said the United Express jet is still being repaired and the cause of the mishap is under investigation.