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Slide deploys midflight: Jet's evac slide deploys midflight, plane diverted

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A United Airline’s evacuation slide deployed midflight on Sunday, inflating, not outside the plane, but inside of the cabin and freaking out passengers. The chute completely filled up the front galley of the aircraft, blocking entrance to the cockpit and bathrooms.

The United Airlines plane was making a run from Chicago to Southern California, but was forced to make an emergency landing in Kansas. No one was hurt, largely because the galley was absent of any passengers or flight attendants when the inflatable slide exploded open.

The Associated Press reported that 58-year-old Mike Schroeder, who snapped a picture of the inflated slide, “heard a hiss and pop. Schroeder said he turned around and saw the plane's evacuation slide starting to inflate. The slide – which would normally inflate outside the plane during an emergency – filled the galley.”

“I thought to myself, ‘I hope there is no one in the restroom because if they are they're not coming out for a long time,’” Schroeder joked.

Indeed, it was straight out of a movie. A hapless passerby touches something, ever so slightly, and they are blown back by a rapidly blown-up inflatable.

(Sort of like this!)

United Airlines officials said 96 passengers were on board Flight 1463 and no one was injured.

Schroeder said the lights also flickered on and off for a bit, and that some of televisions showing the in-plane movie stopped working.

The AP rounds out the story:

The pilot announced that the plane had not lost cabin pressure and that he was looking for a place to land; a couple of minutes later the pilot said they would be landing at Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport. The plane went into what Schroeder described as “a steep decline,” but the landing was uneventful. The plane was escorted to the terminal by a fire truck.

United Airlines said all passengers will receive a $300 credit.

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