Passengers were praying and trying to text family members in the moments before a Delta Air Lines flight made an emergency landing in North Carolina.
“After we heard the boom we just saw all this smoke come up into the cabin, and that’s when we really started freaking out,” passenger Avery Porch told CNN affiliate WMAR. “It started slowing down a little bit, it started getting hot (and) air cut off.”
Nearly 150 passengers on Delta Flight 1425 were headed from Atlanta to Baltimore on Monday when one of the aircraft’s engines had a problem, the airline said.
A video recorded by a passenger shows how a metal nose cone was bouncing inside the engine as the aircraft was in the air.
Passengers said they were more than an hour into the flight when the captain told them they were planning an emergency landing.
“I just pulled out my phone and I knew I didn’t have service but I just texted my mom … I love you,” Porch’s boyfriend, Tyler Kreuger, told WMAR.
A passenger who spoke to CNN said she had fallen asleep soon after takeoff but was woken up by a loud bang, “like a rattling sound.”
“After, the cabin filled with smoke and seat belt signs went on and off, and you could smell something was burning. Everyone seemed confused. No one knew what was going on,” the passenger said. “Flight attendants were going around telling us how to prepare for landing. They kept everybody calm.”
The MD-88 aircraft landed safely about 2:20 p.m. at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, a spokesperson with the Federal Aviation Administration said.
“I’m so grateful for the crew and pilots for letting us land safely,” the passenger told CNN.
After the landing, passengers were booked on alternate flights to Baltimore. Delta said the aircraft’s engine has been replaced and the plane was expected to return to service Wednesday morning.
The airline’s maintenance team in Atlanta is expected to evaluate the damaged part.