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Emergency Landing at Eppley

A United Airlines flight made an emergency landing Friday morning at Omaha's Eppley Airfield after reporting a possible fire.

United spokesman Jeff Kovick said the landing was a precaution -- there was no fire on the non-stop flight from San Francisco to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. The plane had departed just before 6 a.m.

"The flight landed safely and routinely, and the captain proceeded with appropriate caution by diverting to Omaha," Kovick said.

Pilots on the Boeing 757 reported the fire-extinguishing system in the plane's cargo area was activated about 50 miles from Omaha, said the Omaha Assistant Fire Chief Joe Gibilisco. He said the crew members did not see flames or smoke.

Airport spokesman Don Smithey said the airplane landed safely and, after a quick inspection, went to a gate so passengers could exit normally.

Smithey said no other Eppley flights were affected.

The airline's Kovick said there were 63 passengers on the plane, who were put onto another flight to New York about 1:30 p.m. He did not know how many crew members were aboard.


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