Los Angeles: A flight from Chicago bound for Santa Ana, California, made an emergency landing in Kansas on Sunday night after a slide deployed midair.
The flight had 96 passengers and five crew members on board, according to the airline. Passengers tweeted pictures of the massive deployed slide inflated inside the cabin.
Passengers said they feared the worst as the flight crew realised what was happening.
There “was a hiss and they just had a panicked look,” passenger Diane Modini told a local TV station. “They quickly took the carts and ran to the back of the plane. The whole back cabin where they sat was full of the chute.”
“The first thing that went through my mind is, if the chute opened and it probably popped out the door and we’d lose pressure immediately,” Ms Modini said. “But luckily that didn’t happen, it just inflated inside.”
Passenger Susan Finkbeiner told KAKE-TV in Kansas she had the same fear.
“Eventually, the pilot made an announcement that the plane was OK, but I talked to him after the plane landed and he said he had to descend right away because there was ... a chance the raft could push the door open, so it was definitely a rush,” she said.
The jetliner dropped from 11,580 metres to 5790 metres in about 10 minutes after the chutes deployed and the flight was diverted, according to Flightaware.
"Scariest flight of all time," passenger Taylor Martinez said over Twitter.
United Airlines flight 1463 left Chicago O'Hare International Airport around 8:36 pm local time, according to the airline.
Passenger Mike Schroeder told the Associated Press that
passengers remained calm and took pictures of the slide with their phones.
Mr Schroder said told AP that after landing the pilot looked at the slide and said he had never seen that happen before.
"No one was injured and the flight landed safely," said Christen David, an airline spokesman, in an email.
The plane landed at MidContinent Airport in Wichita, Ms David said.
"We are flying in another aircraft to resume the flight and get our customers to their final destination as quickly as possible tomorrow morning," he said.
It is unclear why the slide deployed.