JetBlue flight reaches final destination after emergency landing in Charleston

Source: Provided
Source: Provided

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Passengers aboard JetBlue flight 913 to Fort Lauderdale, Florida landed at their location nearly eight hours after their plane was forced to make an emergency landing at Charleston International Airport.

An alternate plane departed Charleston at 4:30 p.m., a Charleston County Aviation Authority spokeswoman Charlene Gunnels confirmed. A JetBlue text alert states the plane landed at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport at 6:10 p.m.

Friday morning's flight was bound for Fort Lauderdale, Florida from White Plains, New York, when a report of smoke in the cockpit came in, Gunnels said.

There were 97 people aboard the plane and all were safely evacuated from the aircraft.

"There were a couple of people panicking, but it wasn't a crazy panic," said passenger Frank Migliorelli, of New York. "There were a lot of people praying, I guess when you're that close to the man upstairs maybe you want to talk to him a little bit."

Migliorelli was headed to Florida to see his mom when his flight was diverted because of smoke in the cockpit.

"The airplane started to get very stuffy and hot and then all of a sudden you started smelling something industrial, almost like an electrical fire kind of thing, but you didn't know what it was," he said.

The New Yorker said the pilot came over the PA system after smoke started appearing in the cabin and told the passengers they'd be making an emergency landing in Charleston.

"We came in fast, we came in pretty hard, but not unusual," he said. "I've been in worse landings. Obviously, they were in a hurry."

A JetBlue corporate spokesperson said the plane landed safely at 10:30 a.m. and said there were no injuries reported among passengers or crew.

Migliorelli captured various aspects of the emergency landing via social media.

A video posted to Instagram shows how passengers were evacuated from the plane via the emergency chutes.

Despite the serious situation of the day, Migliorelli said he was still able to find some humor.

"It was kind of fun," he said. "I actually said 'weeee' on the way down."

Migliorelli and the 96 other passengers who were aboard flight 913 spent a majority of their day in the airport.

They spent roughly 30 minutes on the runway after the evacuation, and then were bussed to the terminal where JetBlue officials provided food.

While Migliorelli and his wife plan on spending the night in Charleston, he can't give enough credit to plane crew who got them through this emergency.

"Sometimes the system works, you know," he said. "It's pretty cool to see people who are really well trained do a great job. I [have to] tell you, it was amazing."

A spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Authority said they are investigating the reports of smoke in the cockpit.

Officials said there were no reported injuries from this emergency landing.

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