Emergency landing forces temporary shutdown at Newark Liberty International Airport

A Canadian flight had been diverted to the airport because of a fire.

March 9, 2019, 11:14 AM

A Canadian flight was diverted and forced to make an emergency landing at Newark Liberty International Airport Saturday morning after a possible fire on the plane, authorities said.

"Air Transat Flight 942, a Boeing 737, reported a possible fire in the cargo hold and diverted to Newark Liberty International Airport at 8:30 a.m. The aircraft landed on Runway 4 Right and remained on the runway while airport firefighters responded. Passengers evacuated on the runway via emergency slides. The flight departed from Montreal, Canada and was headed to Fort Lauderdale, FL," the Federal Aviation Authority told ABC News.

The airport was closed for about an hour on Saturday morning, causing delays and diversions to other airports in the New York City area as well as Philadelphia and Dulles International outside of Washington, D.C.

After the ground stop, workers were going through every single bag to determine what could have caused the indication of smoke, FAA sources told ABC News.

Officials have not yet confirmed if there actually was smoke or fire.

They were also looking at the possibility of faulty indicators because workers opened the cargo hold and there were no obvious signs of a fire, airline sources told ABC News.

Newark also confirmed two minor injuries from the diverted flight. Sources told ABC News the injuries occurred during the evacuation.

"Flight activity has resumed at #EWR after the pilot of an Air Transat flight requested an emergency landing due to a report of fire in the cargo hold of the plane. Plane landed safely. 2 minor injuries unrelated to any smoke condition. Confirm with your carrier for flight status," according to a statement tweeted by Newark Airport.

Newark Airport was reopened and flights were resumed after about an hour, officials said.

Newark has intersecting runways, so when passengers have to evacuate and are on the runways, they have to close everything down, resulting in major delays. This caused at least 20 diversions early Saturday morning, according to Flightradar24. The FAA reported that there was a ground stop in place for flights into Newark originating from most parts of the country while the airport was closed.

The Air Transat pilot reported smoke coming from the cargo, according to LIVEATC.NET.

There are rules about what goes into the cargo hold because if something catches fire there, it's difficult to extinguish. But if something catches fire up in the cabin, it can typically be put out quickly and safely.

Related Topics