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Authorities searching for emergency slide that fell off Delta plane during flight

By Ehren Wynder
Authorities are still searching for the missing emergency slide that fell off a Delta passenger jet Friday morning, forcing the plane to turn around roughly a half hour after takeoff. File photo by John Dickerson/UPI
Authorities are still searching for the missing emergency slide that fell off a Delta passenger jet Friday morning, forcing the plane to turn around roughly a half hour after takeoff. File photo by John Dickerson/UPI | License Photo

April 26 (UPI) -- An emergency slide fell off a Delta Airlines Boeing 767 shortly after takeoff Friday, forcing the plane to return to John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Delta Air Lines Flight 520 turned around about a half-hour after taking off for Los Angeles Friday morning. Pilots aboard the plane reported vibrations and a banging sound not long after takeoff, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

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Crews then found an emergency slide from one of the plane's exits had fallen off the aircraft, according to Delta.

All 176 customers and seven crew members exited the plane safely, according to Delta Air Lines. The airline said it substituted another Boeing 767, and passengers were expected to land in Los Angeles three and a half hours behind schedule.

Police were still searching for the missing slide early Friday afternoon.

Delta, in a statement, said it was working to determine where the slide could have landed.

"Delta is fully supporting retrieval efforts and will fully cooperate in investigations," the statement read.

The FAA is investigating the incident.

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The 33-year old plane, registration number N176DN, has previously had engine problems, a cracked windshield, smoke in the cockpit and suffered a bird strike.

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