Midwest Airlines flight ends with smell of smoke, evacuation on KCI runway
By ROBERT A. CRONKLETON and GLENN E. RICE
The Kansas City Star
A planeload of passengers, many of them students arriving for the Skills- USA convention, picked up a new experience Monday afternoon: sliding down a safety chute onto a runway.
The smell of smoke forced the evacuation of Midwest Airlines Flight 1903 from Milwaukee moments after the plane landed at Kansas City International Airport. Fire crews rushed to the runway as 104 passengers escaped.
One person was treated for an ankle injury.
Investigators are trying to determine what went wrong on the plane, KCI spokesman Joe McBride said.
Passenger Brett Wesson, 19, of Downington, Pa., said the flight was on the approach to land when people smelled “an odor of smoke on the plane, and the flight attendants started looking around.”
“When we landed, they told us the fire department would check out the plane,” he said.
A short time later, passengers were told to evacuate and walk to the grass by the runway.
“It smelled like an electrical odor — an electrical burn,” said Wesson, who is competing in SkillsUSA. “Nobody really thought anything about it when we smelled it. We didn’t think anything of it when we landed either until they started yelling at us to get off.”
Becca Marcott, 18, of Linwood, Mich., another SkillsUSA competitor, said she jumped on the slide and was helped down by firefighters.
“At first it was scary,” Marcott said. Then she realized it was something not everyone gets to do.
“I thought it was awesome,” said Elizabeth Owens, 17, of Auburn, Mich. “Welcome to Kansas City.”
To reach Robert A. Cronkleton, call 816-234-4261 or send e-mail to bcronkleton.
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