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Alaska Airlines Flight Declares Emergency After Passengers Smell Fumes in Cabin

Mike Blake/Reuters
Mike Blake/Reuters

An Alaska Airlines flight between Oregon and Arizona on Tuesday evening declared an emergency and turned back after passengers reported smelling fumes in the cabin, according to Port of Portland officials.

The crew was alerted to the issue by travelers seated at the rear of the aircraft shortly after takeoff from Portland International Airport en route to Phoenix. Flight 646 then declared an emergency and returned to Portland, Alaska Airlines said.

Alaska Airlines Grounds Boeing 737-9 Fleet After Section Blows Out in Mid-Air

“Guests deplaned and boarded a different aircraft to continue on their way to Phoenix,” the airline told KATU-TV. “The aircraft in question is being inspected by our maintenance team. We apologize to our guests for the inconvenience.”

Seven people including passengers and crew requested medical evaluations, Port of Portland spokesperson Melanni Rosales told the station. None of the group were taken to the hospital.

Rosales added that Port and Portland Fire & Rescue firefighters investigated the issue but were unable to find the cause of the smell.

The incident comes two months after another Alaska Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Portland when the Boeing 737 MAX 9’s door plug blew out of the fuselage a few minutes after takeoff.

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