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United plane's slide deploys, forces emergency landing

ST. LOUIS — An evacuation slide inflated inside a United Airlines plane as it flew from Chicago to Southern California, filling part of the cabin and prompting the pilot to make an emergency landing in Kansas.

United Airlines said in a statement that no one was injured aboard the Boeing 737-700, which was bound for Orange County, Calif., late Sunday.

United said the plane would be flown without passengers to a larger airport for a complete inspection to determine how and why the slide accidentally deployed. Spokeswoman Christen David said she knew no details about whether the incident would trigger additional inspections. Federal aviation officials were investigating.

Flight 1463 landed atMid-Continent Airport in Wichita, Kan. The plane was escorted to the terminal by a fire truck.

Passenger Mike Schroeder, 58, a lawyer from Newport Beach, Calif., said he was surprised at how calm all the passengers were, with many — himself included — snapping photos of the slide with their cellphones.

In November, a JetBlue flight from Florida to Boston had to be diverted when a slide partially deployed toward the aircraft's galley. In 2008, a plane carrying Barack Obama, the then-Democratic presidential candidate, made an unscheduled stop after the emergency slide in the aircraft's tail cone deployed.

United plane's slide deploys, forces emergency landing 06/30/14 [Last modified: Monday, June 30, 2014 11:41pm]
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