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JetBlue emergency landing: Engine ‘exploded,’ smoke billowed, passengers say

Passengers on a JetBlue flight that made an emergency landing in Long Beach on Thursday told how smoke and fumes from an engine fire filled the cabin moments before the captain told them over the public address system to brace themselves.

Flight 1416 took off about 9:15 a.m. and had climbed to an altitude of about 9,400 feet when a warning signal that one of the engines was overheating came on, officials said. The pilot then “initiated an extinguishing agent” after smoke was seen coming from the engine and filled the cabin, said Long Beach Fire Department spokesman Jake Heflin.

Among the passengers was “Twilight” 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.

Another passenger on the plane, Dana Point resident Dean Delbaugh, told USA Today that smoke came “billowing out” of the air vents and “filled up the cabin.”

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Flight attendants manually deployed oxygen masks, he said.

“The fumes were ridiculous,” he said. “I can still kind of taste them in my mouth.”

As the jetliner approached the runway, the pilot told passengers over the public address system to brace themselves, according to Rathbone.

After the plane landed safely, passengers were evacuated from the plane using emergency slides, authorities said.

Long Beach Airport officials said there were 142 passengers and five crew members aboard the flight.

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.

Follow the reporter on Twitter: @JosephSerna


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