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Cathay Pacific Hong Kong-Los Angeles Flight Performs Emergency Landing

An aircraft of the company Cathay Pacific flies over Hong Kong, August 10, 2014. – AFP PHOTO / DALE DE LA REY

Flight Cathay Pacific between Hong Kong and Los Angeles made an emergency landing in Alaska on Wednesday because of smoke in the cabin, we learned Thursday from the Hong Kong company.

The pilots made the decision to divert the plane towards the military base of Eareckson, on the island of Shemya, which is part of the Aleutian islands, as a precautionary measure, indicated Cathay in a press release. The 276 passengers and 18 crew members of flight CX884 are “unharmed,” the company said.

A spokesman said the plane and passengers had since made their way to Anchorage, the main city in Alaska, and boarded a specially chartered plane from Hong Kong. They were due to arrive in Los Angeles around 1:30 p.m. Paris time this Thursday. Cathay Pacific spoke of the “malfunction of a cold air fan located under the cabin floor near the cargo bay”.

A passenger testified to the passengers’ anxiety when they realized that smoke was invading the cabin. “Everyone was panicking saying + my God, it’s a nightmare,” said Geneviève Cousineau to Hong Kong’s English-language daily, the South China Morning Post, about “the most terrifying moment” of her life.

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