A JetBlue flight that departed from Long Beach on Thursday morning bound for Austin, Texas, was forced to turn back shortly after takeoff when the pilot declared an emergency with one of the plane’s engines, officials said.
Flight 1416 took off about 9:15 a.m. and soon after a warning signal that one of the engines was overheating came on, Long Beach Airport officials said.
The Airbus A320 jet climbed to an altitude of about 9,400 feet before beginning its descent and circling back for an emergency landing about 9:30 a.m., according to FlightAware.
Among the passengers was actor Jackson Rathbone, who took to social media to describe the ordeal.
Rathbone tweeted that the engine “exploded,” the cabin began filling with smoke and the pilot banked sharply back toward the airport.
The pilot “initiated an extinguishing agent” after smoke was seen coming from the engine and filled the cabin, said Long Beach Fire Department spokesman Jake Heflin.
As the jetliner approached the runway, the pilot told passengers over the public address system to “brace” themselves, according to Rathbone. Airport officials said there were 142 passengers and five crew members aboard the flight.
After the landing, pictures posted on social media sites by passengers showed fire engines on the tarmac and dozens of people gathered around the jet.
Passengers were evacuated from the plane using emergency slides, authorities said.
Four people sought medical attention, including one person who was hurt sliding down the emergency slide and another who was hospitalized with shortness of breath, Heflin said.
After a brief delay, flight operations at the airport continued as normal, airport officials said.
By 11:15 a.m., the airliner had been towed off the runway, video on NBC4 showed.