Smoke forces evacuation of Continental jet
March 8, 1997
NEWARK, New Jersey (CNN) -- A Continental Airlines jet taxiing for takeoff from Newark Airport was forced to stop on the runway and evacuate Friday after its passengers reported smoke billowing into the cabin.
Two people sustained minor injuries in the incident, the Port Authority said.
Boston-bound Flight 354, an MD-80 carrying 54 passengers and five crew members, had to abort its takeoff around 1 p.m. after smoke began pouring out of the auxiliary power unit, Port Authority police said.
"We were taxiing out on the flight Boston and suddenly from the rear of the plane smoke just came right up the aisle through the HVA system and it kind of caught everybody by surprise, and people started to scream, 'Stop the plane! Stop the plane,'" said passenger Michael Kornett, president of an insurance company.
"And so somebody banged on the captain's door because obviously on the flight deck he wasn't aware of what was happening, but (he) immediately jammed the brakes, came to a quick halt, and we were ordered right away, 'Leave everything behind, get off the plane.'"
Newark Airport was closed for 32 minutes following the incident, delaying some departures and arrivals.
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