Two people were hospitalized for injuries they suffered on an American Eagle flight that had to make an emergency landing in Selma, Alabama, June 21.
The passengers were traveling on American Airlines Flight 5559 from New Orleans to Washington D.C. when the cockpit and cabin began to fill with a burning odor. The plane was carrying 65 passengers and four crewmembers.
“They told us it was a malfunction with the brakes and that they saw smoke outside,” passenger Shavonne Bowman told WSFA Montgomery. “My heart started racing. I started praying, and I just followed the instructions.”
The American Eagle plane landed about 11:40 a.m. at Craig Field in Selma.
Craig Field executive director Menzo Driskell told the Selma Times-Journal that a call from Montgomery alerted the Selma airport of the emergency landing.
“My secretary came in and said there is a plane that has an emergency, they have an unresponsive passenger and there’s smoke in the plane.”
He told the Selma Times-Journal that the plane landed safely and that two of the passengers appeared to suffer minor injuries climbing out onto one of the wings and jumping down onto the wet runway.
The Red Cross provided food and drinks to the passengers and crew, who were provided shelter in a hangar until Dallas County school buses shuttled them to Montgomery Regional Airport for a 5:30 flight to Washington D.C.
The American Eagle flight was operated by PSA Airlines for American Eagle. The Bombardier CRJ700 jet departed Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport at 10: 52 a.m.
“Our maintenance team will evaluate the aircraft, and we will most likely ferry that aircraft out of there once the inspection is complete,” American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein told the Selma Times-Journal. “[The plane] will undergo an additional thorough inspection prior to being placed back into service. It’s preliminary to say when that will be, but of course the aircraft will be inspected by an aircraft maintenance team with PSA, which operated the flight.”