Passengers Heard Boom Before Flight's Emergency Landing

VIDEO: Passengers describe a traumatic emergency landing after hearing a loud
WATCH Plane Grounded After Reports of Smoke in the Cockpit

An American Airlines plane was forced to make an emergency landing Thursday after the smell of smoke was reported – leaving passengers panicking during a frenzied emergency landing.

Flight 3454 was carrying 50 people on board when it left Tallahassee at 8:30 p.m. Thursday en route to Miami.

But after the plane took off, passengers say they heard a loud boom.

“I heard behind me a very loud explosion, and smoke came in from the bottom. And people started screaming,” one of the passengers said.

Smoke was reported in the cockpit, according to the FAA. The pilots made a distress call before landing the plane in Tampa.

Alberto Carvalho, the superintendent of Miami-Dade County Schools, was on the flight.

“We descended quickly and we proceeded through the instructions, y’know, brace yourselves, head between your legs,” Carvalho told ABC News.

U.S. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart was also on the flight. Following the landing, he expressed thanks to the flight crew and responders.

The plane was met by emergency vehicles on the ground, with some passengers hyperventilating. One girl with asthma was treated at the scene.

The FAA is investigating.