Plane Returns to O'Hare After Cabin Pressure Mishap Makes Passengers Ill: Spokeswoman

It was not clear how many people on the plane were sick

A plane returned to O'Hare Airport after about an hour in the air Tuesday due to a "pressurization issue" that caused some passengers to feel "discomfort," an airline spokeswoman said. 

First responders were at O’Hare Airport Tuesday morning following a report of sick people aboard a Denver-bound United Airlines flight.

Department of Aviation spokeswoman Karen Pride initially said United Flight 1218 had a "medical emergency" but United spokeswoman Karen May said the plane experienced a "pressurization issue" while in the air causing several passengers to feel "discomfort."

May said the plane took off around 8:40 a.m. and was in the air for about an hour before returning to the airport at 9:48 a.m.

"The flight landed safely, and we requested paramedics meet the flight to assist a few customers who reported feeling ill," United Airlines said in a statement.

There were 174 people on board the plane along with seven crew members, officials said. Fire media spokesman Larry Langford said 177 people were looked at at the scene.

May said early reports indicated three or four people were transported to area hospitals, but Langford said no one was transported from the scene.

Officials said they are inspecting the aircraft to determine what happened.

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