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LA-bound Delta flight makes emergency landing due to engine issue

June 21, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Engine trouble forced a Delta jet bound for Los Angeles to make an emergency landing in Atlanta on Monday night.

Delta airlines flight 1323 with 174 passengers aboard had to return to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport after an engine caught fire.

All passengers safely evacuated from the Boeing 757 using emergency chutes.

"There were people that were crying, but there weren't people that were screaming. There just wasn't time. They were like, 'We have to get off this aircraft right now,'" said passenger Lisa Walker of South Pasadena.

Walker said the passenger sitting next to her looked out the window and said he could see fire coming from one of the engines.

"We all evacuated really quickly, and then they pushed us away from the airplane as fast as they could. They wanted us in the field," said Walker. "Fire engines were putting out the fire. The engine was completely shot. The pilot eventually came out and she talked to us and she said it was just burnt."

Passengers said the crew members were professional, calm and kind.

"Hats off to the crew and the pilots," said passenger G.W. Jamison of Corona. "Most definitely to the pilots, because they saw it, turned around, came back and landed.

Jamison said he was one of the first people to jump down the emergency slides. He said he waited at the bottom of the slide and helped other passengers make their way down.

Passenger Mo Ogunrinola said she had a bad feeling before takeoff. She and her husband were seated in the row with the emergency exit.

"I asked my husband to move and be close to the door because I said, 'You're going to need to open this door,' and he said, 'No, God forbid, we are going to get where we're going,'" Ogunrinola said.

Ogunrinola said most passengers kept their cool, but a few people in the back were shouting, "Get us off this plane."

Delta spokeswoman Chris Kelly Singley said three passengers suffered minor injuries, believed to have happened while they were going down the plane's evacuation slides.

The spokeswoman said another plane was provided and the passengers resumed their trip to Los Angeles. The flight arrived safely at Los Angeles International Airport at 5:52 a.m. PT.

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