Slide deployment delays flight

An emergency slide on an Alaska Airlines jet plane deployed accidentally Saturday, delaying a north-bound flight for several hours at Wrangell Airport, according to a spokesperson for the company.

Airlines staff were opening the hatch for off-loading when the plane's emergency slide deployed. Pictures, widely circulated on Facebook, show the slide deployed perpendicular to the ground. No one was injured in the mishap and passengers were able to disembark, said spokesperson Nancy Trott.

The flight typically stops in Wrangell for about 30 minutes, according to departure and arrival times listed on the Alaska Airlines Web site. Instead, passengers landed at 10:12 a.m. and left at 5:49 p.m., or about 7 hours and 40 minutes later, according to Trott.

"This is really a milk-run flight," she said. "The plane normally stops in Wrangell briefly and then leaves."

That's about 12 times longer than the typical flight-time between Ketchikan and Wrangell, which is typically about 38 minutes, according to the Alaska Airlines website.


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