Iowa passengers, families relieved emergency landing led to safe - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa passengers, families relieved emergency landing led to safe outcome

Allegiant Airline officials say that emergency landing of the flight from Cedar Rapids to St. Petersburg, Florida wasn't because of a fire on board, and may have been a false alarm.

Flight 863 landed in Albany, Georgia when a warning light indicated a possible fire in the cargo hold.

A spokesperson with the airline said Monday there was no evidence of a fire.  Investigators continue to look into what triggered the emergency light. 

"We just kind of dropped and stopped," said Lori Launderville, who was visiting family in Storm Lake.

It was a scary scene Sunday night for the passengers of flight 863.

Mount Pleasant native Kristi Bonser, and her five-year-old son Brody, are just thankful to be safe. 

"You're looking out the window.  I don't see palm trees.  I know I'm not in Florida and you know I grabbed his hand and said, 'I love you Brody, hold on tight,' and he said, 'I'll be praying for you mom.'  So you know I'm just happy to be alive," Bonser said.

There were tense moments for family many miles away as well.

"I was worried," said Denise Launderville of Hudson, Lori's sister-in-law.  "You worry until you know all family is safe."

Denise heard the news when Lori text messaged her.

"I got a text saying they were making an emergency landing.  It kind of shocked me because we fly a lot down to Florida, it's kind of scary," she said.

In spite of the circumstances, Lori says there was no chaos on the plane.

Instead passengers followed the crew's instructions, exiting orderly and quickly from the plane's emergency chute.

"I didn't have that gut felling, 'that oh my God.'  I was like it's going to be okay, just get off the plane," Lori said.

Monday morning after a long bus trip, Lori is finally in Florida.

Meanwhile, her family back in Iowa, was relieved to know she made it back home.

"They landed safely, the did their job, that's all we can all hope for," Denise said.


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