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United Airlines flight diverted after emergency chute deploys mid-flight

The emergency chute on a United Airlines flight opened halfway through the journey.
The emergency chute on a United Airlines flight opened halfway through the journey.
Taylor Martinez

A United Airlines flight heading to southern California had to be diverted and make an emergency landing in Wichita, Kansas, on the evening of Sunday, June 29, 2014, due to the inflatable emergency chute opened midway through the journey. US News reported that it was United Airlines Flight 1463 and departed from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport carrying 96 passengers with five crew members.

While heading from Chicago to southern California, passengers were frightened and shocked when the emergency chute deployed in the rear of the plane, filling up a crew area.

"The flight diverted to Wichita ... No one was injured and the flight landed safely," United said in a statement. The Boeing 737-700 took off from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

At the time of the incident, United Airlines has said that all passengers were in their seats.

There had been a number of reports going around that one of the passengers had tried to open the door and that was what caused the emergency chute to deploy. United Airlines has since stated that those reports are entirely false.

"Scariest flight of all time," passenger Taylor Martinez wrote on Twitter.

Passengers reported hearing a hissing sound and then a pop. They turned around and saw the emergency evacuation slide inflating. The pilot then announced to everyone that the United Airlines flight would divert and land in Wichita.

All reports since the incident say that passengers remained calm, but did take a lot of pictures of the chute. No-one was injured during the incident.

United Airlines will have technicians and safety crews do a full inspection of the plane as it's still not clear what caused the chute to deploy. Another airplane was flown in to help passengers continue their journeys.

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