United Airlines plane makes emergency landing after slide inflates

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 July, 2014, 11:21pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 July, 2014, 12:52am


A flight from Chicago was forced to make an emergency landing in the US state of Kansas after a slide deployed mid-air and inflated inside the plane's cabin.

The United Airlines Boeing 737 jet left O'Hare International Airport, bound for Santa Ana in California, with 96 passengers and five crew aboard.

Passenger Mike Schroeder said he heard a hiss and pop, then saw the plane's emergency evacuation slide inflate.

Schroeder said the pilot announced to passengers that they would be landing at Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport. Passengers remained calm and took pictures of the slide with their phones, he said.

Schroeder said that after landing, the pilot looked at the slide and said he had never seen that happen before.

"No one was injured and the flight landed safely," said Christen David, an airline spokesman. It was unclear why the slide had deployed.

"Scariest flight of all time," passenger Taylor Martinez said on Twitter, while other passengers said they feared the worst as the flight crew realised what was happening.

"There was a hiss and they just had a panicked look," passenger Diane Modini said. "They quickly took the carts and ran to the back of the plane. The whole back cabin where they sat was full of the chute."

Commercial airline pilot Douglas Moss said that unless someone was at the back of the plane when the chute deployed - possibly pinning them against a wall as it inflated - there was no real danger to the flight.