BUFFALO - A United Express flight bound for Bradley International made an emergency landing in Buffalo, New York, Wednesday afternoon.
SkyWest, a regional carrier that was operating the flight, which was scheduled to land in Connecticut around 12:30 p.m., released a brief statement shortly after the incident.
SkyWest Flight 5622, operating as United Express from Chicago to Hartford, diverted to Buffalo, NY after a passenger lost consciousness. The flight landed safely in Buffalo, where the passenger received medical attention before being released. We are working to accommodate the 75 passengers to Hartford.
SkyWest Airlines says that the passenger was not taken to the hospital.
The information provided by SkyWest contradicts with some of the experiences passengers say they went through while in the air.
"I saw at least two and then other people experiencing symptoms that weren't as severe but I can tell you I was told the first person was passed out," said Mary Cunningham, an Emergency Room nurse from Niantic who helped passengers. "She was very lethargic and didn't look good and the second patient I saw was passed out."
Cunningham also claimed she and several other passengers in the aircraft's middle section felt light-headed and ill. The nurse says multiple people exhibited symptoms.
The pilots, fearing a loss in cabin pressure, immediately dropped the plan more than 28,000 feet to 10,000 feet in a matter of minutes.
"The captain came on the PA system and he announced that we were going to descend really quickly," said Frank Angelo of Simsbury. "Sure enough, within seconds, that aircraft felt like it nose-dived. Engines full throttle, the air frame shaking, and we descended really quickly."
SkyWest Airlines says that the quick descent was done out of an abundance of caution, but that there was no indication of any pressurization issues. Airline mechanics examined the plane to ensure there were no issues.
The FAA released also released a statement:
SkyWest Airlines Flight 5622, an Embraer E170 aircraft, landed safely at Buffalo International Airport at 11:40 a.m.after the crew declared an emergency. The flight departed from Chicago O’Hare International Airport and was heading to Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, CT. Check with local authorities on the condition of crew and passengers. The FAA will investigate.
Passengers were transferred to another plane to continue on to Bradley; that plane is expected to land in Windsor Locks around 6:15 P.M.
According to Flight Aware, Flight 5622 originated in Chicago at 9:32 a.m. CDT and landed in Buffalo at 11:38 a.m. EDT.
All 75 passengers are expected to be okay.
Passengers praised the crew and the pilots for their quick thinking and professionalism. "I give a lot of credit to the pilot and flight attendants," said Cunningham. "They were so professional, they kept everybody calm and we landed safely so it was a good outcome. "