SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – A Southwest flight leaving Salt Lake City International Airport was forced to make an emergency landing shortly after departure Monday morning.
“One of the scariest moments of our life,” wrote one passenger of Southwest Airlines Flight 604 on Facebook.
“Lots of praying, lots of holding hands,” passenger Traci Scarce told reporters.
The flight was bound for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) from Salt Lake City. Passengers reported hearing a loud ‘boom’ and ‘pop’ sound, and seeing flames shooting from the engine.
According to Nancy Volmer, a spokesperson for the SLC Airport, the flight was departing from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles when an engine caught on fire.
After the flight’s emergency landing, the 110 passengers were de-planed and waited at SLC International Airport to board another Southwest aircraft, which departed again for LAX at 10:20 a.m.
Southwest Airlines released a statement:
“The pilots of flight 604 operating today from Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) elected to return to SLC after receiving a cockpit indication of a performance issue with one of the aircraft engines. Following established protocol and procedures, the pilots completed an uneventful landing. The customers will be swapped to a new aircraft to continue the flight to LAX. We apologize for the inconvenience, but safety is always our top priority at Southwest Airlines.”
Passengers on the flight describe the moment the plane’s engine caught fire.