Montreal-Fort Lauderdale flight makes emergency landing due to smoke

An Air Transat flight heading to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., from Montreal was forced to land in New Jersey Saturday morning.

Passengers used emergency slides to exit plane soon after it landed in Newark

An Air Transat flight from Montreal to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was forced to make an emergency landing Saturday morning due to reports of smoke in the cargo hold.

Flight TS942 took off from Montreal around 7:10 a.m. ET and landed safely in Newark, N.J., around 8:30 a.m.

The 189 passengers made an emergency evacuation from the Boeing 737 plane soon after, said Air Transat spokesperson Debbie Cabana.

They exited the plane onto the runway using emergency slides, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Television images from the airport showed the plane on the tarmac surrounded by emergency vehicles. Workers towed the aircraft off the runway at about 11 a.m., the FAA said.

Another plane will be sent to Newark shortly in order to continue the flight, Cabana said.

Steve Coleman, spokesperson for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, told Radio-Canada two passengers reported minor injuries — one had a panic attack, and the other was injured during the evacuation.

One of the injured passengers was taken to hospital for treatment.

He said no fire was found but there was a lot of smoke. The cause remains under investigation.

Flights in and out of Newark airport were halted for about 10 minutes but have since resumed.

‘You don’t want to live that twice’

Julie Chauvin said she and nine of her family members were flying to Fort Lauderdale for a cruise when the loudspeaker clicked on and a voice instructed passengers to follow emergency landing procedures.

Passengers were told to crouch forward with their heads against the seat in front of them, said Chauvin, who is from Beloeil, Que., just east of Montreal.

“We didn’t know what was happening,” she said. “We were scared. We were leaning forward and waiting, and the pilot told us we were making an emergency landing.”

Once the plane was on the ground, it took only a few minutes for authorities to arrive and instruct passengers to jump out onto the cushioned mattresses.

The emergency was managed in an orderly fashion and passengers were treated well, she said, but her money and personal belongings were still on the aircraft Saturday afternoon and it remained unclear when she would reach her destination.

Overall, she said it was not an experience she would like to repeat.

“You don’t want to live that twice,” Chauvin said. “It was very stressful.”

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