Diverted 'flight from hell' lands at Tampa International Airport

TAMPA - Passengers on a flight bound for Miami from Tallahassee were told to brace for an emergency landing as their plane made headed toward TIA Thursday night.

We are told the plane had some sort of mechanical failure.

"Well I tell you, this was a flight from hell," said a passenger on that flight.

 "About twenty minutes later you hear an explosion, and then I smelled smoke coming out of my air ventilation," said another. "The flight attendant was visibly shaken."

"The plane dipped down at like 100 miles per hour, all of a sudden you could see the city."

What was supposed to be a relaxing 45 minute flight from Tallahassee to Miami, was anything but, and it all started before the plane took to the sky.

"We boarded the flight and within a half hour of sitting on the runway, they let us know that there was maintenance paperwork that hadn't been filed yet," said passenger Jessie Berrin.

"They made us wait two and a half hours on and off the plane," said Tony Villamil who was sitting in seat ten.

As passengers eagerly waited for take off, maintenance crews were scrambling, but those on board knew little about what was happening.

Finally the plane was cleared to take off, but within a half hour, passengers say they heard an explosion, then smoke bellowed into the cabin.

"I cant even tell you what those moments were like but it was extremely traumatic, and we really did not know what was going to happen," said Berrin.

"People started screaming," said Villamil. " The captain then said brace for an emergency landing we're trying to get to Tampa."

Around 9:30 p.m., TIA officials began clearing a runway and diverting aircraft. Fire crews raced in, ready for the worst which fortunately never came. The plane and its passengers landed safely.

"We've not determined what the problem was last night, but they're going to make sure it's safe before they put it in the air again," said TIA spokesperson Emily Nipps.

On Friday, American Airlines and the FFA were still looking in to what may have caused the emergency situation.

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