Assurances From Crew Helped Calm Passengers Before Continental Landing at IAH

Houston firefighters at the scene called it "a photo landing." Relieved emergency personnel could be heard applauding over radio scanners.

"We probably had close to 100 people there, and they were probably as ecstatic as the people on that plane were when it touched down."

Houston Airport System spokesman Rich Fernandez said that other runways remained in operation throughout the emergency.

"We were prepared for every eventuality, and it worked out well," Fernandez said.

ExpressJet spokeswoman Kristy Nicholas said the incident would be investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and that representatives of Embraer, the plane's builder, and B.F. Goodrich, the tire manufacturer, were on their way to Houston to assist.

FAA personnel said Continental Airlines also would participate. The three crew members stayed in Houston for debriefing and met with employee assistance personnel, said Nicholas, who characterized them as "heroes."

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