An Alaska Airlines flight from Chicago to Seattle was diverted after a strange odor wafted through the cabin while the plane cruised at altitude, reportedly causing "respiratory issues" among passengers and crew members on Wednesday.
In total, four crew members were hospitalized after the plane landed at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, while a further eight—six crew members and two passengers—were treated upon landing at the airport, airport spokesperson Patrick Hogan told The odor that reportedly swept through the cabin smelled of "burnt plastic," according to Hogan's explanation.
The cause of the odor is yet to be identified, and the plane was briefly removed from service on Wednesday while Alaska conducted an inspection. The Boeing 737-900 returned to service on Thursday, .
"The cause of the odor is being investigated and the plane has been removed from service pending an inspection," Alaska Airlines said in a
Though the odor's sudden onset was severe, it only affected a minority of the 144 people onboard. Still, it's the drifting into the cabin of one of its planes and causing harm to passengers and crew in a matter of days. In the first incident, a flight from Seattle to Orange County, California, pilots and crew were evaluated at the airport and then later transported to the hospital for further evaluation, per an airline statement.
So far Alaska hasn't determined the cause of the odors in either incident.
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