American Airlines Flight 2293 made an emergency landing on Monday at San Francisco International Airport after developing problems in the plane's cabin wall, media reports said, citing aviation and airline officials. The Dallas-bound plane, which departed from SFO, reportedly turned around after an hour into the flight.
The incident took place after some of the cabin’s wall panels came loose, Matt Miller, an American Airlines spokesman reportedly said, adding that all 184 passengers and six crew members on board the Boeing 757 are safe. The incident is suspected to have been caused by a damaged air duct and maintenance workers are reportedly inspecting the aircraft.
"The air duct became inoperable and a few of the panels inside the plane came loose. There were no other issues. It was considered an emergency landing because it was an unscheduled landing," Miller said, according to CNN.
Miller reportedly said there was no loss of air pressure in the cabin, although the problem was initially believed to be linked to pressurization.
The Federal Aviation Administration will work with the airline to determine the problem before the plane is operational again, Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the agency, told Bay City News Service.
James Wilson, of Kyle, Texas, told The Associated Press, or AP, that he and his fellow passengers knew there was some problem with the plane within minutes of takeoff. Passengers reportedly panicked after the interior panels began coming off.
"It was the whole Row 14 on all sides, from the floor to the ceiling," Wilson, told AP. "It sounded like it was popping and banging so loud at first I thought stuff was coming out of the overhead compartments." He also added that cabin crew members were “pulling the panels apart and looking for daylight behind there.”
According to Wilson, the pilot announced the flight would continue on to Dallas, but changed his mind after inspecting the damaged panels himself, AP reported. Wilson reportedly said that he did not believe that the problem was caused due to a blown air duct.
American Airlines plans to send another plane to San Francisco to fly the passengers to Dallas on Tuesday, Miller said, according to AP.