Airline says plane forced to divert to MSP back in service after inspection

February 28, 2019 06:27 PM

Alaska Airlines says maintenance staff conducted a detailed diagnostic inspection of a plane forced to divert to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Wednesday night after a foul odor sickened some passengers and crew members.

But they were unable to recreate the issue. As such, the airline said in a statement Thursday that the plane has been returned to service.

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Alaska Airlines Flight 51, took off from O'Hare in Chicago around 5:48 p.m. and was bound for Seattle when it was diverted to MSP because of the issues.

It landed around 7:17 p.m.

The flight was canceled and passengers were rebooked on other flights to Seattle.

Airport spokesman Patrick Hogan said the smell was much like burnt plastic, but the source had not been identified. He said some people were having trouble breathing.

RELATED: Medical crews respond to diverted flight at MSP International Airport

Eight people, including six crew members, were medically evaluated at the airport and four were taken to a hospital. The flight was carrying 144 passengers in all.

It followed an incident on Tuesday in which ABC affiliate KOMO in Seattle reported an Alaska Airlines flight departing Seattle-Tacoma International Airport had to return to the airport when an odor was detected in the plane's cabin. Three crew members were sent to the hospital.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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