United Airlines plane makes emergency landing

United Airlines plane makes emergency landing

A United Airlines plane bound for Denver was forced to make an emergency landing in Aspen on Sunday, as smoke poured into the cabin a few minutes into the flight.

United Express Flight 5940, operated by SkyWest, took off from the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport with 65 passengers aboard at 12:49, but was forced to return to the airport moments later.

A malfunctioning air conditioning system was blamed by officials, with passengers reporting smoke billowing into the cabin.

No injuries were reported following the incident.

The airport was closed as a precaution while the situation was investigated, confirmed airport director Jim Elwood. Delays were subsequently reported at the location.

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Passengers were offered counselling while waiting in the terminal for the plane to be repaired.

The aircraft - a Canadair Regional Jet 700 Series (CRJ-700) - took off from Aspen for the second time at about 16:30, landing safely in Denver shortly after 17:00, said SkyWest spokeswoman Marissa Snow.