A Southwest Airlines passenger jet made a safe emergency landing at New York's La Guardia Airport on Monday after its front landing gear collapsed, although at least three people on board were slightly injured.

The airport had to close its runways until the situation was under control, according to officials with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Southwest Airlines, so far, has only confirmed that three people were injured on the plane but promised late Monday afternoon to provide more information in a statement in the coming hours.

Flight 345, a Boeing 737, took off from Nashville at 2 p.m. (1900 GMT) and evidently reported a possible landing gear problem prior to landing at 5:45 p.m. and as the plane was touching down on Runway 4, the front landing gear collapsed, the Federal Aviation Administration reported, adding that it was investigating the incident.

A statement on the Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Web site read: "Southwest Airlines confirms emergency responders at New York's LaGuardia airport are assisting with an evacuation of flight 345 after the Boeing 737 arrived this evening from Nashville. We will provide further details when available."

CNN reported that of the 143 passengers and six crewmembers on board, only three were slightly injured, going on to say that everyone was evacuated from the aircraft. It was not clear whether the injured were passengers and/or crew.

In photos posted on various media outlets, the blue and red jet can be seen resting with its nose on the tarmac. EFE