JetBlue flight makes emergency landing at California airport, four hurt

By Dan Whitcomb
JetBlue Airways aircraft are pictured at departure gates at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York in this file photo taken June 15, 2013. JetBlue Airways reported a lower quarterly profit on Thursday as increases in salaries boosted operating expenses. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: TRANSPORT BUSINESS)

By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Four people were injured on Thursday when a JetBlue plane carrying 147 people made an emergency landing at the Long, Beach, California, airport, because of an engine issue, an airport spokeswoman said.

JetBlue Flight 1416, which had just departed for Austin, Texas, returned to Long Beach after pilots got an overheating warning for one of the engines, Long Beach Airport spokeswoman Stephanie Montuya-Morisky said.

She said all 142 passengers were evacuated from the plane by slides after it landed at 9:30 a.m. PDT. Four passengers were treated at the scene for minor injuries and one of them was taken to a hospital, she said.

JetBlue said in a statement that the flight returned to Long Beach Airport after the crew reported an issue with the No. 2 engine.

The statement said the plane landed safely. The airline said no injuries were reported at the time.

A runway was shut down at the airport, about 25 miles south of Los Angeles, while passengers were removed from the disabled plane, but was reopened about two hours later.

Actor Jackson Rathbone, best known for his role as a vampire in the "Twilight" films, said in a series of Twitter posts that he had been on the plane.

"Our right engine exploded and our cabin filled with smoke," he said in one tweet.

"The oxygen masks did not deploy, but the brave stewardesses came around and manually deployed them," Rathbone said in another tweet. "It was rough, the plane was rocking."

Rathbone said that once the plane was on the ground, he grabbed his son and jumped down an inflatable ramp with his wife following.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Bill Trott and Peter Cooney)