NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Spirit Airlines flight headed to Ft. Lauderdale from New York had to be evacuated due to a fire concern Saturday morning, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The Port Authority said Spirit Flight 197 on its way to Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood Int’l Airport was deplaned just before 11 a.m., CBS2 reported.
Brooklyn resident Zach Staggers was on the plane when he and his brother spotted something scary outside, WCBS 880’s Stephanie Colombini reported.
“I was at the window seat and we saw the smoke coming out of it — kind of looked at each other like what’s going on?” he said.
Staggers said the crew got everyone off the plane once they spotted the problem, but it was a hectic ordeal.
“It was as if you yelled ‘fire!’ in a crowded theater,” Staggers said.
Spirit Airlines said sparks were actually reported in the auxiliary powerunit, a generator that provides electricity to the plane while it’s on the ground. The airline said the generator detected the sparks and immediately shut itself off.
Aircraft Rescue and Fire responded to the scene, the Port Authority said.
There were a total of 228 passengers and crew on board, according to the Port Authority. No injuries were reported.
The flight was canceled and passengers had to re-book another flight, 1010 WINS reported. In a statement, Spirit Airlines apologized to the customers for the inconvenience.