HAMILTON, Bermuda − A jetliner heading to South America and carrying more than 200 people, including a leading Puerto Rican fashion model Joan Smalls, was forced to make an emergency landing here early on Sunday, but no injuries were reported.
The American Airlines (AA) flight, en route to Brazil from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport, was suspected of having a fire in the cargo hold, and touched down at L.F. Wade International Airport shortly after 12.40 a.m. (local time).
Bermuda Fire and Rescue Service helped carry out an evacuation and a search of the plane, but was not immediately able to confirm whether a fire had actually occurred.
Skyport, which runs airport operations in Bermuda, confirmed no injuries.
Smalls, 29, who was the eighth highest paid model in the world in 2013 according to Forbes magazine, spoke of her experience in a series of social network posts.
She told her followers: “Just emergency landed in Bermuda.”
Isabela Elizabeth, 23, one of a family of four from Rio de Janeiro, told reporters she began to hear “weird noises” less than two hours into the AA 973’s scheduled nine-hour flight.
Shortly afterwards, the pilot advised passengers of a problem with a sensor and that an emergency landing was needed.
Elizabeth said a slight burning smell was evident in the aircraft shortly after the announcement was made.
She said the smell was much stronger as her family and the other passengers disembarked in Bermuda.
Most passengers remained at the airport and were rebooked on later scheduled AA flights to JFK and Miami, although some chose to book into hotels and remain on the island while alternative flight arrangements were made, officials said. (CMC)