US Airways plane makes emergency landing in Moncton
Plane was travelling from Philadelphia to Tel Aviv
A US Airways flight made an emergency landing in Moncton just after 3 a.m. on Tuesday after a fire broke out in an oven at the rear of the plane.
None of the 233 passengers or 14 crew members on board were injured, said Julie Pondant, a spokesperson for the Greater Moncton International Airport.
The passenger plane, flight 796, was travelling from Philadelphia to Tel Aviv when it ran into trouble, said Pondant.
Smoke was seen and could be smelled coming from an oven at the rear of the aircraft.
"I do want to put it in context, I don't want to make it sound like there were flames licking through the cabin or anything like that," said Michelle Mohr, a spokesperson for US Airways.
"The fire was contained to the oven and our professional flight attendants extinguished it."
The plane was diverted to Moncton as a precaution, she said.
The passengers had to stay on the aircraft for about six hours, waiting for customs officials to arrive at the Moncton terminal before they could deplane.
"It's been horrible," said passenger Greg Varley, from Tennessee. "The flight was late leaving Philadelphia and about an hour-and-a-half into the flight they turned around to head for Halifax and they diverted from Halifax because the runway was too short," he said.
"So we came here and there was a fire in the rear galley and we've been sitting on the tarmac since 2 o'clock in the morning and they wouldn't let us in the building — said they couldn't accommodate us. It's been absolutely horrible. People on the plane becoming restless and irritable, so it's been a terrible experience."
Passengers were allowed to leave the aircraft at about 9:30 a.m. and are being provided with food and beverages while they wait for another plane, said Mohr.
They couldn't reboard the original plane because crews used two of its fire extinguishers, she said.
"You have to have a certain number of fire extinguishers on board and they had to use two of them and also unplug the unit, so really it's a matter of safety before you go out over the open water for a period of several hours."
Some smoke in the cabin also needs to be cleared, said Mohr.
Another US Airways plane is expected to pick up the passengers at about 3 p.m. on Tuesday to return them to Philadelphia.
They will then be rebooked on another flight to Tel Aviv, she said.