COLD BAY, Alaska, Oct. 31 (UPI) — A Delta flight landed safely after it diverted to the remote Alaskan village of Cold Bay after declaring an in-flight emergency, airline officials said.
Delta Air Lines spokesman Michael Thomas said the Boeing 767-300ER traveling from Tokyo to San Francisco landed at Cold Bay’s airport without incident Wednesday after an indicator indicated a possible problem with one of the aircraft’s engines, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
Airline and federal safety officials were investigating what caused the signal that triggered the emergency landing of Flight 208, carrying 167 passengers and 11 crew members.
Employees from nearby Izembek National Wildlife Refuge ferried the stranded passengers to Cold Bay’s community center and school.
Refuge pilot Ken Richardson told the Daily News his passengers mostly treated the experience as an unexpected adventure.
“They were the nicest people you’d wanna meet,” Richardson said. “They were not disgruntled. None of ’em felt put out.”
Another plane arrived in Cold Bay to pick up stranded passengers, information posted on Delta’s flight status Website said.
The airport at Cold Bay — a community of about 60 on the Alaska Peninsula — is a former U.S. Air Force facility built after Japanese soldiers landed on Attu island in 1942, the Daily News said.
The runway, just more than 10,400 feet, served as a never-used backup landing area for the space shuttle, said Jill Reese, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.