EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSEMERGENCY LANDING
from Eyewitness News Online
Smoke Detected In The Cargo Area Forces An Emergency Landing
Reported by: Ashley Smith
Videographer: Larry Clark, Chad Hypes, Troy Morgan
Web Producer: Ashley Smith
Also Contributing: Wes Armstead, Atish Baidya
Reported: Jan. 12, 2012 8:18 AM EST
Updated: Jan. 12, 2012 4:30 PM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
“The minute we landed they put the brakes on very quickly,” said passenger Carol Gross, “Don't take any of your belongings, just get out,”
Those were the directions given to the 23 passengers on board this U. S. Airways-Express flight Thursday morning. The flight was going from Nashville to DC.
The pilot made the decision to land in Charleston after a smoke detector went off detecting smoke in the cargo area.
“It was a halon gas which is a fire suppressant system that goes out to put like a damper to suck the oxygen out in case there is a fire,” said Yeager Airport Director Rick Atkinson.
Carol Gross was in Nashville on business and was returning home to New Jersey when the flight was re-routed.
“It was very quiet. No one said anything, my friend and I looked at each other and said this hadn't happened to us. But there was a minister behind us so we felt better,” said Gross.
“The only thing I saw, during decent I looked out and looked at the wing, I saw a trail coming off,” said passenger Tim Banasiak.
Tim Banasiak says the crew was vague about the issue with the plane until they landed.
“I saw the emergency crews and I knew it was something a little more than an indication in the cock pit,” said Banasiak.
“And then we immediately saw fire trucks from all angles coming at us,” said Gross
Despite the positive outcome of the emergency, officials say they were prepared for the worst.
“When something happens you can not take a chance because when there's smoke and it becomes a fire jet fuel is volatile and people could be injured,” said Atkinson.
“I will definitely think about it but I have no choice but to fly so I have to get over that,” said Gross.
The faulty plane will be fully inspected and repaired before leaving Yeager. The passengers were put on a direct flight to DC or a connecting flight to Charlotte and then to DC Thursday afternoon.
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