Plane Diverted to Island Due to Burning Smell, No Smoke Monster Reported
A United Continental Boeing 777, like the one pictured, had to land on the remote island of Midway after reports of a strong burning smell.IMAGE: FLICKR, MARK HARKIN
BY JASON ABBRUZZESE
13 HOURS AGO
This story was updated most recently at 12:24 p.m. ET on July 12.
It's not a good sign when passengers compare their airline experience to the TV show Lost, especially when smoke may be involved.
While traveling to Guam over the Pacific Ocean, a United Airlines flight was diverted to a small island after reports of electrical problems and a burning smell.
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Originating in Honolulu, the Boeing 777 plane was delayed for three hours due to a burning smell, but was eventually cleared, according to ABC News. Problems began five hours into the flight when the smell returned, and pilots reported electrical issues, including a loss of the plane's radar. No passengers were harmed.
After landing on Midway Island in the North Pacific Ocean, passengers waited for six hours in a gymnasium. Island residents brought food and drinks to the stranded travelers, one of whom compared the situation to ABC's hit TV show Lost, in which survivors of a plane crash are marooned on a tropical island. The passengers eventually made it to Honolulu on a replacement plane, although their luggage is still on Midway. United is currently working on returning the luggage to them, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
United said the original plane was still on Midway. The company has not revealed what caused the smell, attributing the problem to a mechanical issue.
Midway Island is extremely remote, located 1,486 miles from Honolulu, 2,627 miles from Japan and more than 3,300 miles from the west coast of the continental United States.
Midway is home to a wildlife sanctuary and an abandoned U.S. military base. It played an important role in World War II as a strategic base, and was the impetus for a major battle that turned out to be a turning point between the U.S. and Japan. Chicago's Midway International Airport is named after the battle.
United Airlines did not immediately respond to Mashable's request for comment.