A United Airlines flight from Chicago to Orange County, California, made an emergency landing in Wichita, Kansas, late Sunday night after the plane’s emergency evacuation slide inflated inside the aircraft.
United Airlines Flight 1463 was carrying 96 passengers and five crew members, the airline said in a statement. There were no injuries, and the flight landed safely at its detour destination.
The airline will evaluate the aircraft, a Boeing 737-700, to determine why the slide deployed in midair. While initial reports suggested that a passenger attempted to open a door while the plane was 38,000 feet above ground, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman rejected that theory, saying that it is impossible to open a door at that altitude.
â€” SFGate.com (@SFGate) June 30, 2014
Several passengers snapped photos of the emergency chute after it inflated. Mike Schroeder, 58, was one of them. He told KWCH-TV in Wichita that he heard a “hiss and a pop” from the chute as it deployed inside the plane.
While such occurrences are rare, this isn't the first time this has happened. A JetBlue plane was also diverted in November of last year after its emergency evacuation slide was activated.