CLEARWATER, Fla., June 9 (UPI) -- Four people were injured when an Allegiant Air flight made an emergency landing after passengers smelled smoke in the cabin minutes after takeoff.
About eight minutes after Allegiant Air Flight 864 departed St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport for Hagerstown, Maryland at 4:28 p.m., passengers reported smelling an electrical-burning odor. At 4:52 p.m., the plane landed and deployed its inflatable emergency slides. There were 141 passengers and six crew members aboard. Three passengers and one flight attendant were injured, the airline said.
"The pilot came on and said evacuate, evacuate, evacuate," passenger Hayden Potter said. The airline said passengers would receive full refunds and $200 off vouchers.
The emergency landing comes in the wake of concerns regarding Allegiant aircraft safety. In April, the Teamsters Aviation Mechanics Association highlighted dozens of mechanical problems from September 2014 through March.
"We find it disconcerting that an airline with such a small fleet has experienced such a large number of schedule disruptions due to mechanical issues," the Teamsters wrote. "It should be noted that the advanced age of an aircraft in and of itself does not make it unsafe, but aging aircraft do require more maintenance. The lack of experience, parts, tooling and training combined with the age of the fleet is creating a dangerous paradigm that could eventually lead to an accident resulting in serious injury and loss of life."
Allegiant, considered the most profitable airline in the United States, has been in ongoing labor negotiations with its pilots since August 2012. In mid-January, the pilots voted to strike, but have been barred by the courts.