Delta Flight Evacuated on Taxiway After Smoke Fills the Cabin
A Delta Air Lines flight was evacuated on Tuesday night after it had landed at Denver International Airport (DEN) when smoke filled the cabin as the aircraft was taxiing to its gate.
Delta Flight 1854 took off from Detroit (DTW) at 7:26pm, according to flight-tracking website FlightRadar24 — more than three hours delayed from its original departure time of 3:58pm. The 2.5-hour flight, which was operated by a McDonnell Douglas MD-90 (registration N960DN), landed at DEN just after 8:00pm local time.
After the aircraft had landed, smoke reportedly started to fill the cabin. Jim McManus, a passenger on board Flight 1854, told Denver7 that smoke began coming through the cabin vents. Flight attendants reportedly told passengers to keep their heads down and cover their faces, and remained calm throughout the ordeal.
Eventually the decision was made to evacuate the aircraft, and passengers deplaned via emergency slides and over-wing exists. Delta says that airport response vehicles met the aircraft and passengers were transported to the terminal via buses. Delta says only minor injuries were reported.
"After arrival in Denver and during taxi to the gate, Delta flight 1854 from Detroit to Denver stopped on a taxiway where customers deplaned via slides and over-wing exits due to an observance of smoke in the cabin," Delta said in a statement. "The safety of Delta's customers and crew is our top priority and we apologize for the concern this situation has caused."
Denver International Airport that as of just after 10:00pm local time — about two hours after the aircraft landed — operations were normal. The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate what went wrong.
N960DN, the aircraft that operated the flight, is just more than 20 years old, according to PlaneSpotters.net. The aircraft was delivered to China Northern Airlines in March 1998 before being turned over to China Southern Airlines in 2004. In September 2011, Delta took delivery of the aircraft.