Boeing 737: United Airlines flight forced to divert as 'mechanical issues' cause oven fire on board

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A Boeing 737 American Airlines flight was forced to divert due to a reported fire on board

An American Airlines flight was forced to divert due to a reported fire on board. The incident occurred on Sunday (21 January) while the flight was heading from Texas to North Carolina.

The flight had taken off from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin at 2pm and was diverted to Houston, according to data from FlightAware. After arriving at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) at 3pm CST, travellers experienced an extensive flight delay before heading to their initial destination. Flight 885 officially took off from IAH at 10.59pm CST on 21 January, before arriving at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) at 1.46am EST.

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The plane involved was a Boeing 737-800 jet. Boeing planes have faced high scrutiny over the past month after a window blew out of a Boeing 737 Max 9 plane as it took off over Oregon on 5 January. 

No one was injured but the Federal Aviation Authority subsequently grounded all 171 Boeing 737 Max 9 planes to launch a safety investigation. On Tuesday (23 January), Ben Minicucci, CEO of Alaska Airlines, told Sky News' US partner network NBC News that he is “angry” about the incident and revealed loose bolts have been found on “many” Boeing aircraft. 

A Boeing 737 American Airlines flight was forced to divert due to a reported fire on board. (Photo: Getty Images)A Boeing 737 American Airlines flight was forced to divert due to a reported fire on board. (Photo: Getty Images)
A Boeing 737 American Airlines flight was forced to divert due to a reported fire on board. (Photo: Getty Images) | Getty Images

Meanwhile on Saturday (20 January) a nose wheel fell off a Boeing 757 plane as it was preparing to take off on the runway at Atlanta's international airport. A spokesperson for Delta confirmed a "nose gear tire came loose from the landing gear" on the plane.

According to American Airlines, nobody on aircraft Boeing 737-800 was injured by the reported fire on Sunday. According to a statement from American Airlines shared with NBC News the airline specified that the “mechanical issues” on board were caused by the oven in the forward galley.

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The Houston Airport System told NBC that the aircraft was examined by the maintenance team when it first landed in Houston on 21 January. The city’s fire department also responded to the report of the fire on the aircraft.

An American Airlines spokesperson said: “The aircraft landed safely and without incident, and taxied to the gate under its own power. We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience and appreciate our team members for their professionalism. We are currently working to assist impacted customers, and they are scheduled to depart to CLT later tonight.”

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