A United Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing last night after an apparent pressurization issue and air conditioning problem. A spokesperson for the airline confirmed.
United Flight 986 took off from San Francisco International Airport Sunday afternoon en route to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol when the plane was forced to divert to Bangor early Monday.
No injuries were reported for the 210 passengers who deplaned normally after the Boeing 787-9 suddenly made its emergency descent and taxied to a gate on its own power just after 1:23 a.m.
Oxygen masks were released due to the cabin pressure change to supplement oxygen before the plane descended to an optimum flight level.
“Three or four stewardesses said to get ready for an emergency breakdown and so they did,” says passenger Mircel Kiok. “The air masks fell down. You saw it on screen, we dropped immediately from say 10 km to 3 km and then the screens went down because everyone was in panic but finally we survived.”
“It was scary but it was actually rather calm, it wasn’t like the movies where people were screaming and crying,” says another passenger, Ben Friedman. “Everyone was just kind of…they were scared but they were all kind of, I don’t know, felt like a community. I guess it’s weird It’s as everyone knew we were in the situation together. In the end it worked out at least. “
Overnight accommodations to the passengers were provided by United. According to a statement from the airline, they’ll be redirected to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey where another flight will take them the rest of the way. They’re expected to arrive in Amsterdam early Tuesday morning.
Bangor is a haven for diverted flights, as it is the last U.S. airport for flights that are bound for Europe.