A Delta Airlines flight from Seoul-Incheon to Atlanta was forced to make an emergency landing at Tokyo Haneda airport after smoke developed in the cabin and a smell of burning material was noticed.
The flight landed at Haneda at 10:40pm which is pretty much the busiest time for the international departures at the airport.
Passengers exited the aircraft over stairs and were led to the terminal building where they were re-accommodated onto other flights, most of them likely in connection with an overnight in Tokyo given the time.
The Japan Times (access here) had a story about the incident that transpired last Thursday already.
A Delta flight that had left Incheon, South Korea, bound for Atlanta was forced to make an emergency landing at Haneda airport in Tokyo Thursday night after smoke entered the cabin, the Tokyo Fire Department said.
Delta Flight 26, which left Incheon airport at 6:30 p.m., was over the Pacific Ocean just past 9 p.m. Thursday when smoke and the scent of something burning was detected in the cabin, the fire department said, adding that the plane made an emergency landing at Haneda at around 10:40 p.m.
None of the 316 people on board was injured and the airline’s maintenance crew is trying to determine the cause of the smoke.
According to Delta Air Lines, smoke was also detected in the business class section but the burning smell subsided after attendants switched off the in-flight entertainment system.
The trouble might be related to the in-flight electronic system, the airline said.
The description of the potential source of the smoke and smoldering smell brings back the horrible memories of Swissair flight 111 where a fire caused by the inflight entertainment system resulted in the crash of the aircraft, killing everyone on board.
An on board fire in nothing to joke with and pilots are trained to land the aircraft immediately as soon as such a problem develops.
In such a situation passengers can count themselves very lucky to get out of it without any injuries or worse. It was also luck that the plane was in close reach of Tokyo airport and not over the Pacific with hours to go until an airport is in reach. Pretty horrible thought!