A Delta Air Lines flight which took off from Beijing on Monday, December 24 had to make an emergency landing on a remote Alaskan island due to a potential engine issue while going towards Seattle.
As per Anchorage Daily New, a total of 194 passengers, who boarded the flight were taken to a military base on Shemya island in Alaska's Aleutians chain from where they were taken to Seattle through a new aircraft along with the maintenance technicians, airport customer service agents and a new set of crew.
Delta spokesman Drake Castaneda said in a statement on Tuesday, December 25 that the passengers took off on an alternative aircraft from Shemya and landed in Seattle at about 10 pm Monday local time.
The US-based airline company later apologised for the unfortunate incident and said that the safety of the passengers was its top priority. As per the local media report, the flight was a Boeing 767-300ER.
One of the passengers of the Beijing-Seattle Delta flight posted a picture after their flight landed in Alaska and wrote that, "I'm still alive! So... we lost one engine, landed on a US air force base in Alaska in the middle of the ocean. Delta sent another plane from Seattle to pick us up and after waiting for 12 hours we are finally on the flight back. What a great story to tell my grandchildren."
This incident reminds the emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in 2009. The former American pilot Chesley Sullenberger and co-pilot Jeffrey Skiles had to take the risky decision to land the plane on the Hudson River after the Airbus A320 strikes a flock of birds and that caused engine failure. However, the crew and all 155 passengers were rescued by nearby boats. Later, in 2016 Hollywood director Clint Eastwood made a movie based on the incident called "Sully: Miracle on the Hudson" starring Tom Hanks as Sullenberger.
Last month, a Singapore Airlines flight, Boeing 777-300ER, made a u-turn within one hour since its take-off from Changi Airport, after the pilots noticed a drop in cabin pressure and informed the air traffic controllers.