JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WJZ)– A flight carrying the Baltimore Orioles had to make an emergency landing in Jacksonville, Fla. on Sunday night after smoke was reported on board.
The plane was en route to Tampa where the Orioles are scheduled to play a series with the Rays starting Monday night.
The problem was in the kitchen area.
“They came on and told us we needed to make an emergency landing, and then we were nearly free-falling for a few minutes as they raced to get us on the ground as fast as possible,” Ned Rice, who is with the baseball operations department of the Orioles, posted on his Facebook page.
No injuries have been reported.
In a statement, the Orioles said, “Due to a minor incident in the galley, the Orioles’ charter made an unscheduled landing in Jacksonville, Florida en route to St. Petersburg tonight.
After the plane was inspected, all crew and passengers re-boarded and flew to St. Petersburg without further incident.
This unscheduled landing was done with an abundance of caution and at no time was anyone on the flight in danger.”
After the team touched down in St. Petersburg, manager Buck Showalter said during a telephone conference call, “We were in good hands. It was just a precautionary thing just to be on the safe side.”
He added, “We had a little something heat up on the plane, and the professionals didn’t like what was going on.
So just to check it out and be on the safe side, we stopped in Jacksonville. We fixed whatever the problem was, got back on the plane and took off.
It gave everyone a chance to watch some of the Eagles (football) game, so it worked out good.”
The Orioles beat Boston 6-3 in Baltimore on Sunday afternoon. Baltimore later clinched a playoff spot when the Los Angeles Angels lost at Texas in the second game of a doubleheader.
Stay with WJZ.COM for the latest on this developing story.