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Smoke forces evacuation of US Airways plane in Kona

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 7:55 a.m. HST, Jun 14, 2013

Passengers and crew members of US Airways Flight 119 from Kona to Phoenix evacuated the plane last week due to smoke in the cabin at Kona Airport, US Airways spokes­woman Michelle Mohr said.

Caroline Sluyter, spokes­woman for the Department of Transportation, said the plane was about to push back from the gate at about 10:35 p.m. Saturday when smoke was noticed in the cabin.

The 178 passengers and six crew members used the plane’s inflatable slides to evacuate the Boeing 757, Mohr said. State airport firefighters responded, Sluyter said.

Four passengers were treated for minor injuries at the scene, Mohr said.

The Federal Aviation Administration in Los Angeles said the problem was with the auxiliary power unit.

Mohr said the company is cooperating with the National Transportation Security Board to determine the cause of the smoke. She said there was no fire.

The airline provided passengers with hotel accommodations and helped them find flights the following day.

One passenger said in an email to the Star-Advertiser that it was a harrowing experience, saying smoke quickly filled the cabin and that the power went out.

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