Report of smoke forces runway evacuation of plane bound for GR

Posted at 11:31 PM, Mar 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-02 16:30:24-05

ROMULUS, Mich.  — A Delta Connections/Skywest flight that was set to depart Friday night from an airport near Detroit for Grand Rapids instead was evacuated after a report of smoke inside the plane.

The location was Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, in Romulus. That’s about 17 miles west of downtown Detroit.

Tom Podolec Aviation posted on Twitter that 71 passengers and four crew members evacuated around 9:21 p.m. from the airplane. He also tweeted that an odor of smoke was detected.

The flight was originally scheduled to depart at 8:20 p.m. Eastern time.

Per our TV affiliate in Detroit, FOX-2, Skyway Airlines was reporting passengers were evacuated as a precaution from Delta Connection Flight 7335. There were no injuries – and, evidently, no fire on board the Bombardier CRJ-900LR aircraft.

The passengers who deboarded were able to taken a substitute flight to Grand Rapids late Friday night, and were scheduled to arrive at Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Cascade Township around 11:30 p.m. Friday.

Bryan Esler was one of the passengers on the substitute plane (not the one in which smoke was detected). He messaged FOX 17 that “the flight tonight that I am on is overbooked with those people obviously!”

He later reported his plane landed sometime around 11:35 p.m. Friday at Ford Airport.

There was no early indication was caused the smoke odor on the original plane/flight that was scheduled to depart from the Detroit area for Grand Rapids.