A flight from Dallas to Orlando was cut short after a small fire broke out on the airplane, and ten people ultimately wound up going to the hospital!
The Crew Came Through To Control The Fire: ‘They Did An Excellent Job’
According to First Coast News, the situation went down shortly before 4 p.m. on Wednesday, and it resulted in Spirit Airlines flight 259 making an emergency landing in Jacksonville, Florida.
The combustion, which is believed to have been a “battery fire,” originated in an overhead bin, and it prompted smoke to swiftly fill the cabin.
While speaking with the outlet, passenger Kerri Arakawa recalled that the fire was extinguished thanks to the help of the crew and a retired fireman. She also noted that it “took about 20 minutes” to put the blaze out.
“There was a retired fireman that jumped up and flight crew came in and they tried putting water on it and another guy went and got a bucket because I think the fireman reached in and grabbed it and they got it put out, but it took about 20 minutes.”
The passenger went on to give the crew props for handling the situation well, as they helped keep everyone calm.
“The crew and the people jumping in and helping were really pretty calm about it, and I think that really helped keep everything down.”
She added, “They did an excellent job. It could’ve been so much worse.”
Additionally, Kerri noted that, on top of the retired fireman and crew members, the pilot handled the situation swiftly and smoothly. She also shares that, although “it was exciting,” the situation was admittedly “quite frightening for a little while.”
“The pilot got us out of the air really fast. It was exciting, and it had a really smooth landing, of all the things. But it was quite frightening for a little while until we knew we were on the ground and safe.”
First Responders Transported Ten People For Treatment
Upon making the emergency landing in Jacksonville, only one person was initially transported to the hospital.
However, as the day dragged on, more and more passengers began to feel sick. As a result, Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department Captain Eric Proswimmer notes that a total of ten people were hospitalized.
“It was not until almost 6 o’clock that more people started feeling bad, and we then turned it into what we call an MCI level 1. We ended up transporting a total of 10 patients from this flight.”
In a statement to First Coast News, Spirit Airlines confirmed the ordeal and thanked the guests, crew, and first responders for how they handled the matter.
“Spirit Airlines flight 259 from Dallas (DFW) to Orlando (MCO) diverted to Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) following what’s believed to be a battery fire from a Guest item in an overhead bin that was extinguished inflight. The plane landed at JAX and taxied to the terminal without incident. We thank our crew and Guests for their quick actions to ensure the safety of everyone onboard, and we thank first responders for meeting the aircraft.”
What do you think about the matter, and how would you react if you were put in a similar situation?