Southwest Airlines flight to Florida fills with smoke, returns to Cuba


Panic and chaos erupted among passengers on a Southwest Airlines flight from Cuba to Fort Lauderdale, Florida when the jetliner was forced to make an emergency landing after a bird strike.

Shortly after takeoff from Havana, smoke began to fill the cabin of Flight 3923 after birds reportedly struck the plane’s engine and nose.

The Boeing 737 was carrying 147 passengers and six crew members, and the pilot managed to bring the plane safely back to Havana. Southwest Airlines said that no injuries were reported the guardian

In shocking cell phone footage recorded inside the cabin, passengers are seen desperately trying to punch the canopies over their seats to release oxygen masks as a layer of smoke begins to overwhelm anxious passengers.

Screams of adults, mutterings of panic, and a child’s cry are heard as passengers remain unaware of what is happening, with one passenger describing hearing a “boom” before smoke filled the cabin.

Several passengers said that their masks did not fall when the smoke started filling the cabin.
Cabin filled with smoke
Some passengers reportedly hit their bloody knees on the roof to get their masks down.

After the plane landed safely at Marti Airport, passengers were seen using the jet’s emergency slide to get off the plane, with emergency personnel waiting nearby.

In another video, crowds of passengers were seen crawling down the cracks, many coughing violently and still screaming from the chaos.

When asked what caused the horrific incident, a passenger heard “a big boom. Like an explosion.”

“To be honest, I thought it was time for me to go,” Steven Rodriguez told NBC 6. “I was scared.”

Several passengers on the Fort Lauderdale-bound flight said their air masks did not deploy when the cabin filled with smoke.

“People started taking matters into their own hands and were punching the ceiling to force the masks out,” Rodriguez said. “And people had bloody knuckles and all because they were punching the ceiling. There were young children and old women on board.”

Another passenger, Jorge Montesino, said he saw the plane’s engine on fire, prompting him to immediately tell his wife and children that he loved them.

Passengers can be heard clapping and cheering in one of the cellphone videos when the plane landed safely, though still restless.

“The lady captain was amazing,” Montesino told the outlet. “With only one engine, the left engine, he was able to turn the plane around and land safely.”

Firefighters are seen spraying the planes' engines on the tarmac after the planes make an emergency landing.
Firefighters are seen spraying the plane’s engine on the tarmac after the plane’s emergency landing.

“We appreciate the quick, professional actions of our pilots and flight attendants in responding to this event. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and have reached out to address their needs and offer assistance,” said Southwestern. Statement about the event.

Cuban state media Radio Rebelde quoted Cuban Aviation Corporation SA (CACSA) as saying the plane “detected a failure in one of its engines during the flight process.”

CACSA said the investigation is ongoing and the airport will continue its operations as normal. CNN reported.

Southwest Airlines said the company “will review the aircraft to assess damage but does not have additional details to share at this time” when asked about the reported engine failure.

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