United 777 Diverts to Remote Pacific Island After Burning Smell Reported

A United Boeing 777 diverted to the tiny Pacific island of Midway last night after a burning smell filled the plane while it flew over one of the most remote places on earth.

Stranded Plane

The airline will only say it was a mechanical issue. But this may have been a fairly serious incident. No one was hurt but those on board had the scare of their lives, says Teresita Smith from Maryland, who was traveling on board with 25 family members.

“The smell was getting stronger…it smelled like something burning,” she told ABC News in a phone interview today from Honolulu.

The departure had originally been delayed in Honolulu because of the odor but was cleared for takeoff for the eight-hour flight to Guam after about three hours, she said.

And then five hours into the flight the smell returned. “In the back section of the plane alarms were going off,” Smith said. Then after the pilot announced the plane would be diverting to Midway, the power seemed to go out and the plane dropped precipitously. “It was very scary,” she said. “It shook a lot of people up.”

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