United Airlines Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Kansas After Evacuation Slide Inflates in Passenger Cabin
A United Airlines flight heading to Orange County from Chicago was forced to make an emergency landing in Kansas after an evacuation slide inflated inside the passenger cabin. The Boeing 737 aircraft was at cruising altitude not long after departing from Chicago when the evacuation slide at the rear of the plane began to inflate.
"The first thought I had was, ‘Gosh, I hope there's no one in the restroom because they're not getting out for some time’,” said Mike Schroeder, a passenger on United Airlines Flight 1463. Schroeder said he heard a hiss and a pop, turned around and was shocked to find the evacuation slide inflating, "It just filled the whole area back there up."
United Airlines issued a statement in the aftermath of the aviation accident, saying no one on the plane was injured. But passengers were certainly shaken up. Taylor Martinez, who was seated near the back of the plane where the slide inflated, posted a picture on Twitter saying the experience was "the scariest flight of all time."
While inflight emergencies like this are rare, they are not unprecedented. According to NBC Los Angeles, an evacuation slide inflated on President Barack Obama's plane during his first campaign. On July 7, 2008, a Midwest Airlines MD-81 bound for Charlotte was forced to make an emergency landing in St. Louis. A subsequent investigation found that the evacuation slide cover was not properly secured to the floor.