Evacuation Slide Opens During United Airlines Flight - NBC Chicago

Evacuation Slide Opens During United Airlines Flight

No injuries reported when Flight 1463 was diverted to Wichita



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    An evacuation slide on a United Airlines plane inflated during flight on Sunday, prompting pilots to divert the Chicago to Santa Ana, California plane to Wichita.

    "Scariest flight of all time," Taylor Martinez, a passenger on United Flight 1463, posted to Twitter. 

    The Boeing 737 left Chicago at about 8:20 p.m. and was at cruising altitude when a slide at the rear of the cabin inflated. 

    "The first thought I had was, "Gosh, I hope there's no one in the restroom because they're not getting out for some time.' But fortunately the flight attendants were in the aisles and no one was in the restroom. It just filled the whole area back there up," passenger Michael Schroeder told NBC News.

    The pilots put the plane down in Wichita, Kansas shortly after 10:30 p.m.

    There were 96 passengers and five crew members on board. No injuries were reported, and passengers were put on a replacement plane to finish the flight.

    Such an event is rare but not unheard of. An evacuation slide inflated on board President Barack Obama's plane during his first presidential campaign. That plane, a Midwest Airlines MD-81, left Chicago's Midway International Airport on July 7, 2008 and was en route to Charlotte, North Carolina for a campaign stop when the slide deployed. Pilots put the plane down in St. Louis.

    The National Transportation Safety Board in a later report said the slide cover wasn't properly secured to the floor fittings.

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