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United plane evacuated at O'Hare

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A brake assembly fire on the left side of a United Airlines flight from London forced the plane's emergency evacuation at O'Hare International Airport Wednesday afternoon.

Passenger Eric Correa's cell phone captured the smoke and evacuation on United flight 949.

"I wasn't thinking too much, just getting the hell out of the plane, pretty much," said Correa.

United officials say there was a problem with the landing gear. Firefighters doused the brake fire and the flight crew evacuated the plane.

"The flight attendants moved us out the way, asked us to step back and they popped open the door, threw down the seats, and instructed us to exit," said Michelle Brickley, passenger.

One passenger stumbled, while others slid down the shute. Fire officials say two women injured their ankles during the evacuation and one man suffered chest pains.

"That steep, steep jump into the shute, I've never done it before. For the younger ones, it was okay. But for the older ones, it was a little difficult. But it was really, really handled well by United," said David Smart, passenger.

There were 188 passengers and 11 crew members on board. Some went on to other destinations, and others stopped in Chicago for vacation, which was off to an interesting start.

"Quite the ordeal, jumping onto the wing, and down the slide. But no injuries for me, luckily," said Rohini Kundurpi, passenger.

Instead, two strangers ended up friends, and the injuries were minor.

"A good thing that came out of this, for sure," said Kundurpi.

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