The University of Michigan have been looking forward to March Madness, but this definitely wasn’t the kind of craziness they were anticipating. The plane carrying the men’s basketball team was involved in an accident when it skidded off the runway on Wednesday afternoon. Fortunately nobody was seriously injured in the incident.
The team were trying to make their way to the Big 10 Championship in Washington D.C., but didn’t even make it past the airport. After attempting to take off in heavy winds at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Michigan, the take off was aborted and the plane skidded of the runway after braking strongly.
These very same winds also derailed a train, blew over tractor trailers in the Great Lakes region and the northeast and left 500,000 DTE Energy customers without power in southeastern Michigan, with gusts in some areas reportedly reaching 50-70mph. The plane carrying the Wolverines suffered extensive damage in the incident, but all of the 109 passengers and crew on board were evacuated safely.
Scary attempt to get to DC but everyone is alright pic.twitter.com/gC4nJBxUDw
— Matt Shepard (@ShepMatt) March 8, 2017
Team spokesman Tom Wywrot gushed about how the situation was handled. “Without hesitation, the staff on that plane and the people — our staff, our players — on the plane knew what to do, got off the plane fast and ran. I’m very thankful and very happy for that. People were helping each other and nobody blinked. The emergency doors were taken off and we all got out. People had to get on the wings.”
— Tyler Davis (@tylerjdavis2) March 8, 2017
Furthermore, Wolverines coach John Beilein has also received praise for the way he stood outside near smoking engines to assist passengers off the emergency slides. In a Twitter post, strength and conditioning coach John Sanderson stated that “Coach B’s leadership was great.”
Wayne County Airport Authority spokesman Brian Lassaline stated that both the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration will be investigating the accident. Meanwhile, the flight has been rescheduled to 7:30am Thursday from Detroit Metro Airport and will arrive in Washington D.C. at 8:45am, with the team then traveling directly to the Verizon Center for their second round matchup against Illinois at noon.