United flight makes an emergency landing after the evacuation slide deploys in mid-air


An emergency chute  inflated inside a United Airlines plane as it flew from Chicago to California on June 29, filling part of the cabin and forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing in Kansas. No one aboard the flight was injured. (Michael Schroeder via AP)

A United Airlines flight to California  made an emergency landing in Wichita, Kan., when the plane’s evacuation slide deployed in mid-flight Sunday.

The inflated slide burst into the rear of the cabin with a massive pop, terrifying passengers but causing no injuries.

“I heard this pop, I turned around and the slide was open,” a passenger, Michael Schroeder, told CNN.

The plane, a Boeing 737-700, was traveling from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif., when the incident occurred. The aircraft was cruising at 40,000 feet when the slide deployed, according to United. It landed in Kansas less than two hours after take off, at 10:31 p.m. Central Time, according to flightaware.com.

“The flight diverted to Wichita, Kansas, after the emergency evacuation slide accidentally deployed.  No one was injured and the flight landed safely,” according to a statement the airline issued on Monday. “We flew in another aircraft to resume the flight and get our customers to their final destination as quickly as possible.”

Schroeder also told the AP that the airline gave passengers a $300 travel credit for the scare.

In a similar incident last November, an emergency slide deployed on a JetBlue flight from Fort Meyers, Fla., to Boston, Mass.,  forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in Orlando, Fla.

Abby Phillip is a general assignment national reporter for the Washington Post. Before that, she covered politics at ABC News and Politico. She can be reached at abby.phillip@washpost.com. On Twitter: @abbydphillip

 

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