Southwest plane makes emergency landing in Havana after an engine catches fire in mid-flight

HAVANA, Cuba – Panic engulfed the passengers of a Southwest Airlines flight bound for Fort Lauderdale that left Havana this Sunday and had to make an emergency landing after the right engine caught fire mid-flight.

After the flight took off and while the aircraft climbed seeking height, one of the engines caught fire, for which the pilots had to carry out a maneuver to return to the airport safely and land in an emergency.

In a statement issued by Southwest Airlines, it was learned that Flight 3923 “allegedly experienced bird strikes in an engine and in the nose of the aircraft shortly after takeoff,” but that “the pilots returned safely to Havana where customers evacuated the aircraft through slides due to smoke in the cabin”.

Quickly the oxygen masks fell off and the pilots were forced to declare an emergency landing. As the plane neared the ground, chaos grew, with the crew asking passengers to remain calm and cover their faces with their clothing as it was difficult to breathe. Minutes later, the aircraft finally touched down.

Videos recorded by several Cubans who live in towns near the Havana airport captured the moment when the plane began to emit smoke from one of the right turbines and was seen turning around to go back to the Cuban terminal.

In a statement issued by the Cuban Company of Airports and Airport Services, it was learned that it was a flight that left at “12:05 pm today from the José Martí International Airport, the Boeing 737 aircraft of the airline Southwest (SWA 3923) bound for Fort Lauderdale, during the takeoff process it detected failures in one of its engines, following the established procedure its landing was authorized at the Havana Airport.”

The Cuban airport authorities themselves confirmed that all “the passengers were evacuated and are in good condition. The causes that led to said event are being investigated.”

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Southwest Airlines reported that it will rebook all passengers on the next available flight, which should be this Monday, as today’s last flight to Fort Lauderdale is full and the flight to Tampa is full.

All affected customers will be given a hotel reservation for tonight, reported the airline, which has not revealed any additional information related to what happened on the Havana-Fort Lauderdale flight.

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