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American Airlines passengers stranded at Yuma International Airport for 6 hours

American Airlines emergency landing at Yuma International Airport

YUMA, Ariz. - Monday morning, passengers on an American Airlines flight from San Diego to Charlotte, North Carolina, was redirected to Yuma International Airport for an emergency landing due to reported smoke in the cockpit.

Airport officials said it was a conventional oven in the kitchen area that caught fire.

With 136 passengers on board, the pilot decided to make an emergency landing roughly 20-minutes into the flight. 

Most passengers told News 11 that they were not aware of the fire, nor did they smell or see any smoke.

Once the flight landed, both Yuma Fire Department and Marine Corps Air Station Fire Department responded to the scene.

Passengers were held on the plane on the tarmac for about an hour and a half, then escorted to the boarding area of the airport once other scheduled flights were boarded.

Passengers were all generally relaxed with only one major concern on their mind.

Passenger, Lane Williams, said, The luggage is an issue. [Yuma International Airport] is not built to take 150 people's luggage. So, I don’t think they have the people to move the luggage right now."

The airport continued to keep passengers updated as they worked on transferring passengers' luggage from the previous plane. 

Passengers were initially informed that a backup jet from Phoenix would arrive at 2:30 p.m. to continue their flight to Charlotte, however, that jet did not arrive until close to 4:30 p.m.

On the bright side, American Airlines treated passengers to free pizza and drinks while they waited.

Passengers were also instructed to reach out to the airline's emergency contact number to reschedule connecting flights from Charlotte.

All passengers were on board and en route to their next destination nearly six hours after the initial emergency landing.  


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