Passengers onboard JetBlue flight 1416 had a frightening experience when smoke from an overheated engine begin filling the cabin. The flight took off from Long Beach Airport in California, heading to Austin, Texas at 9:45 am. According to officials, after climbing to an altitude of approximately 9,400 feet, a warning signal went off that one of the engines was overheating.
The 147 passengers and crew heard a loud pop while over the ocean and within minutes, the cabin began to fill with smoke. As one passenger on the flight stated, people were crying and praying since they had no idea what was going on or if they were going to crash.
The captain told passengers on the intercom to brace and flight attendants were going down the aisles yelling “Brace, brace, brace”, followed by manually deploying oxygen masks. The plane made it back to the Long Beach Airport but to ensure everyone’s safety, the emergency slides were used for evacuation.
According to spokesman, Jake Heflin for the Long Beach Fire Department, an extinguishing agent was initiated on the smoking engine. Although the plane made it back safely to the runway, reportedly four people were injured with two being taken to the hospital, one injured going down the slide and another having difficulty breathing.
Tweets from some passengers went out while still in flight to include Twilight actor, Jackson Rathbone who was on flight 1416 with his wife and child. In his tweet, he told people an engine had exploded and that the cabin was filling with smoke. He added that the pilot had made a sharp bank to get the plane back to the Long Beach Airport.
Another passenger, Dean Delbaugh, told reporters after landing that smoke began flowing out of the air vents and within a very short time, the cabin was completely filled with smoke. He also said that the fumes were “ridiculous” and that he still had the taste of smoke in his mouth.
Many passengers shared that as the plane flew back to the airport, it was shaking. It was at that time that many people feared a deadly crash. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt and at this time, an investigation is being done to determine the exact cause of the engine fire.