Spirit Airlines Flight Evacuated at LaGuardia After Passengers See Smoke
A Spirit Airlines flight was evacuated at LaGuardia Airport after reports of a smoke coming from the plane.
The airliner is now doing safety checks on one of its planes, ABC 7 in New York City reported.
Passengers were forced to evacuate LaGuardia Airport on Saturday morning due to smoke. The plane, Flight 197, was heading from NYC to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the station reported.
The plane was at the gate at 11 a.m. ET when passengers began seeing smoke emitting from the left side of the aircraft.
Photos and videos of the smoke were uploaded to social media websites.
— Zach Staggers (@ZachStaggers) December 26, 2015
During the plane’s evacuation, no one was injured. Passengers said there was panic on board the aircraft.
A spokesperson with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said that firefighters didn’t see any smoke.
Airline spokesman Stephen Schuler said sparks came from “a generator which provides electricity to the plane when it’s on the ground,” reported the New York Post. The generator automatically shut itself off. He added that the airline apologized for the inconvenience.
“There was a pretty big white plume of smoke that wouldn’t stop,” a passenger told the Post.
“I said to my wife, ‘The plane’s on fire.’ She was like, ‘Shut up.'”
— Andrew Kuslansky (@ajkuslansky) December 26, 2015
Spirit Airlines also released a statement on the incident, which read:
“Passengers aboard Spirit Airlines Flight 197, scheduled for a 10:59am EST departure from New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), were deplaned at the gate following reports of sparks in the auxiliary power unit (APU). The APU, a generator which provides electricity to the plane when it’s on the ground, automatically detected the issue and immediately turned itself off. All passengers safely exited the plane and we are working to keep them up-to-date at the gate. Our maintenance team is evaluating the plane and conducting safety checks before it’s cleared for takeoff. We apologize for any inconvenience to our customers and we are offering to rebook any passengers who prefer to take another Spirit flight.”