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Two U.S. airliners make safe emergency landings

Smoke cause of AirTran, American emergencies

(CNN) -- Two U.S. airliners were forced to make emergency landings Wednesday afternoon. Both landed safely and no serious injuries were reported. In Atlanta, Georgia, an AirTran DC-9 with 92 passengers and a crew of five headed for Ohio made an emergency landing at Hartsfield Airport six minutes after takeoff on Wednesday because of apparent electrical problems in the cockpit.

The passengers were evacuated by slide on the runway, with smoke pouring out of the left side of the plane. No one was seriously injured, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration said, though two people were taken to a hospital as a precaution.

Flight 956 was headed for Akron-Canton Regional Airport, and had ascended to an altitude of 4,000 feet when the pilot reported "a couple of circuit breakers in the cockpit popped," said airline spokesman Jim Brown.

On landing, flight attendants reported smoke in the forward galley and an emergency evacuation was ordered. Brown said two passengers asked to be taken to hospital but they had no visible injuries.

The flight took off at 3:45 p.m. and landed at 3:51 p.m., FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said.

AirTran is the economy airline formerly known as ValuJet.

In Washington, a Dallas-bound American Airlines jet made an emergency landing at Dulles International Airport shortly after takeoff after reports of smoke in the cabin.

No injuries were reported. All 61 passengers and five crew members safely exited the MD-80 jet during an emergency evacuation, using the chutes and slides, said Karen Watson, a spokeswoman for the airline.

Flight 1683 had an "uneventful takeoff,"from Reagan National Airport at 5:34 p.m.," Watson said. As the plane continued its climb, a flight attendant reported smoke in the cabin. The captain declared an emergency and diverted the flight to Dulles, in nearby suburban Virginia.

The plane landed at 6:22 p.m.

Watson said she did not know the cause of the smoke, but the National Transportation Safety Board was notified and would investigate.

-- Rachel Gibson (, November 29, 2000

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