OKLAHOMA CITY – An American Airlines flight from Dallas to Seattle was diverted to Oklahoma City and landed without trouble Wednesday after passengers and crew heard "kind of a bang" and the plane lost cabin pressure, officials and passengers said.
Flight 621 had just reached its 30,000 foot cruising altitude and was about 70 miles north of Dallas-Fort Worth Airport when the incident began, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford in Fort Worth, Texas. The plane landed at Will Rogers World Airport shortly after 11:30 a.m.
No injuries were reported. The plane suffered a mechanical issue and the incident was not terrorism-related, according to an administration official in Washington, D.C., who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly.
"There was kind of a bang. The pilot said it sounded to him like one of the drinking carts ran into the door," said passenger Jack Conn, 62, of Dallas. "The oxygen masks didn't come down. That would've scared the hell out of everybody."
Conn said none of the 141 passengers and five crew members aboard panicked, adding that there was some applause when the plane touched down.
American Airlines said the problem could be as simple as a flawed gasket or a door not being fully closed. The MD-80 aircraft is now out of service and could be sent from Oklahoma City to the airline's maintenance shop in Tulsa if the problem appears serious, said American spokesman Tim Smith in Fort Worth.
"It will be inspected and looked at by mechanics there," Smith said. "It's pretty easy to take it to the Tulsa shop if necessary."
Smith another aircraft was being dispatched to pick up the stranded passengers Wednesday and official hoped they would arrive in Seattle by about 6:20 p.m., about five hours later than their scheduled arrival.