Utah airport shuts down after "ground incident"
generic plane radar sonar hijacking flight air traffic airplane crash / Canadian Press via AP Images
(AP) SALT LAKE CITY - A small southern Utah airport has been shut down and an investigation was under way Tuesday after an overnight "ground incident" involving a SkyWest Airlines plane that damaged the aircraft, some cars and the terminal, authorities said.
The incident at the St. George Municipal Airport occurred at about 3 a.m. while the facility was closed, SkyWest officials said.
Authorities released no further details, but city spokesman Marc Mortenson said the plane never left the ground.
All commercial flights have been canceled at the facility until further notice, but the private portion of the airport remains open, Mortenson said.
"The terminal building itself sustained damage," he said. "There was also damage to private vehicles that were in the front parking lot of the terminal building."
The plane, too, was damaged and was being inspected by maintenance crews Tuesday.
SkyWest officials would say only that there were no passengers aboard the CRJ200 and the plane was not in service at the time.
A dozen flights leave or arrive at the St. George airport each weekday, according to the airport's website. Most run between southern Utah and Salt Lake City, with two flights connecting St. George and Los Angeles.
SkyWest said its passengers are having their itineraries rearranged.
The FBI was leading the investigation with assistance from the St. George Police Department and the Transportation Security Administration.
FBI spokeswoman Deborah Bertram said there was no ongoing public safety issue and law enforcement had the scene secured.
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