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Flight Made Emergency Landing In Wilmington Due To Reports Of Smoke In Cabin

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NEW CASTLE, Del. (CBS) — A United Express flight was forced to make an emergency landing at Wilmington Airport early Wednesday morning.

At about 10 a.m., a United Express CRJ 700, operated by Mesa Airlines, made an emergency landing following problems with what was first deemed the onboard oxygen generator. However, later on Wednesday, United released a statement that read:

“The Mesa Air flight, operating as United Express, landed safely in Delaware and we are working to get our customers to their final destinations as quickly as possible. The flight crew diverted the plane after a report of smoke in the cabin.”

The aircraft, which was transporting 61 passengers and four crew members from Washington-Dulles to Boston-Logan, landed on Runway 1 and turned off onto Taxiway K.

Buses supplied by the Delaware Air National Guard transferred the passengers and crew members to the Airport Terminal Building.

Passenger Shashi Bellamkonda says, “You’re not really thinking anything is going to happen and then the oxygen masks drop down.”

He says it was beginning to smell like something was burning, “so we told the crew and and rightfully the pilot made a decision to make an emergency landing.”

But he says they were not told where the emergency landing would be.

“I was actually looking out of the window and thinking I hope this is not a water landing because it will be really cold.”

The plane made the emergency landing at the New Castle airport near Wilmington, which was routine for airport director Stephen Williams.

“Everyone is fine. A few passengers complained of dizziness, so we got them checked out and everyone is happy.”

Seven hours on the ground, and United and Mesa Airlines are currently making alternative arrangements for the passengers to complete their trip to Boston.

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