Year after accident, runway buffer in place at Midway Airport
December 8, 2006 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Friday marks the one-year anniversary of a plane overshooting the runway at Chicago's Midway International Airport, killing a child. On December 8, 2005, Southwest Airlines Flight 1248 landed in a snowstorm, skidded off Runway 31-C through an airport blast fence and into traffic. The accident killed six-year-old Joshua Woods of Leroy, Indiana, who was riding in a nearby car.
Midway has used nearly half of a $15 million grant to install a bed of crushable concrete at the end of a runway to stop an out of control plane. The project was given the green light after experts found that, had the concrete been in place at the time of the accident, it could have lessened the damage.
A year later after the incident that killed Joshua Woods, it looks like nothing has changed at Midway, with planes continuing their steady pace of take-offs and landings. But there is a big difference at the end of Runway 31-c.. There is now a bed of crushable concrete designed to slow down an out of control plane. It was installed last month, paid for by a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The airport is waiting on more money from the FAA to install crushable concrete at the end of Midway's three other runways, a project that should be completed the end of next year.
At first, the FAA questioned the effectiveness of crushable concrete right after the accident... But it was found to be a viable option since Midway does not have room for buffer zones of 1,000 feet at the end of each runway.
Meanwhile, the family of Joshua Woods still declines to talk about the accident to the media.. But they have put up a web site to pay tribute to him, where messages of love are posted from his mother, other relatives and strangers.
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