Safety Questions Arise Over Grounded United Flight

Investigators wonder if the plane should have taken off in the first place.
1:49 | 07/13/14

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Transcript for Safety Questions Arise Over Grounded United Flight
New question this is morning about the united flight forced to make an emergency landing on a remote island in the middle of the the pacific ocean. Should the plane have taken off in the first place? Also this morning, we're hearing from passengers about the harrowing moments when smoke filled the cabin and the plane took the sudden drop. Brandi Hitt is on the story. Reporter: Some are questioning why united 201 took off in the first place. The plane was delayed hours before. I told my wife, this is not a good decision. When you smell wire like that burning. They made the decision to go. Reporter: The Boeing 777 was forced to make an merge landing over the pacific ocean. I believe everybody on that plane believed we were going to perish. Reporter: 2 1/2 hours into the flight, a burning smell took over the cabin. You could smell like an electry call fire. There were alarms going off. They saw fuel being left out out the window. Reporter: Passengers say the pilot announced they would land at midway. This barely inhabited island that houses an old military base. That's not all. We took a big plunge out of the sky. You knew something was wrong. He lost all his instrumentation. He cut the engines right before we landed. Reporter: Once on the ground, the 335 passengers were cared for in this gymnasium until their replacement flight arrived. Many are praising the pilot's performance. Unite sd reviewing the issue but is not providing further details. For "Good morning America," Brandi Hitt, ABC news, los Angeles.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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