Southwest Flight Forced Into Emergency Landing After Filling With Smoke


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
Font Size:

A Southwest Airlines flight en route from Cuba to Florida was forced into an emergency landing Sunday after the cabin started filling with smoke, according to a statement from the company.

The Boeing 737 was carrying 147 passengers and six crew members when birds crashed into the plane’s nose and one of its engines shortly after takeoff from Havana, according to The Guardian. No injuries have been reported from the incident, footage of which a passenger captured and shared online.

The flight is already airborne in the video, with a few of the oxygen masks deployed from the ceiling as some of the passengers appear to panic. One of the passengers said they heard a loud explosion from one of the engines, presumably when the birds struck it, according to the caption of the video.

“The pilots safely returned to Havana where customers evacuated the aircraft via slides due to smoke in the cabin,” Southwest Airlines said of the incident, according to The Guardian. Passengers left the aircraft via the emergency slide and were expected to board another flight to Fort Lauderdale at a later point, the New York Post reported.

“To be honest, I thought it was my time to go,” passenger Steven Rodriguez told NBC6. “I was terrified.” (RELATED: Insane Video Shows Plane Landing On Highway)

Casca, Cuba’s civil aviation authority, is conducting an investigation into the incident. The plane can be seen getting sprayed with the hose from a firetruck in footage taken following the emergency landing at Havana-Jose Marti Airport.

“We commend the swift, professional actions of our pilots and flight attendants in responding to this event,” Southwest said in a statement to CNN.