Fire causes Montreal-Fort Lauderdale flight to make emergency landing at Newark

Daniel Fowler
March 12, 2019

The aircraft, operated by Air Transat, had to be evacuated on the runway with passengers escaping on the emergency slides.

Passengers on board the Boeing 737 - which flew out of Montreal and was bound for Fort Lauderdale, Florida - evacuated onto the airport's runway via emergency slides, according to FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen.

The emergency landing shut Newark airport to all arrivals and departures.

At about 9 a.m., the airport closed all of its runways, but reopened them and resumed flights at about 9:30 a.m.

But after reports of smoke coming from the cargo hold, the Air Transat flight was forced into a dramatic detour.

Cabana said nobody was injured, however a Port Authority of NY and New Jersey spokesperson said two passengers reported minor injuries, and one was taken to a hospital to be examined.

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"The plane landed safely", Coleman told CNN.

The resident of Beloeil, east of Montreal, said it only took two or three minutes for authorities to arrive and to instruct the passengers to evacuate the plane by jumping onto cushioned mattresses.

All flights in and out of the airport were suspended for 35 minutes.

UPDATE (1 p.m. Saturday): The Associated Press reported that no fire was found inside the plane, and the cause of the smoke in the cargo area remains under investigation.

Coleman advised passengers to check with their airlines about the status of their flight.

Air Transat said all 189 passengers were safe and accounted for.

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