Payment Device Catches Fire, Diverts Alaska Airlines Flight From New Jersey

Alaska Air Plane Fire Buffalo Kleinbaum
Nicole Kleinbaum

A Seattle-bound flight from New Jersey made an emergency landing in Buffalo after a payment device caused a small fire in the galley.

Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority spokesman Doug Hartmayer said Alaska Airlines Flight 17 was diverted to Buffalo Niagara International Airport at about 8 a.m. Monday.

"The plane took off, and people were using the bathroom," said Nicole Kleinbaum, a passenger on the flight. "Then all of a sudden the flight attendant was telling everybody to sit down, and over the intercom the pilot told passengers to put on their seat belts."

"Next thing you know flight attendants were running with fire extinguishers" Kleinbaum, who is married to an employee of NBCUniversal, said.

Hartmayer said a credit card reader caught fire. Kleinbaum said it looked more like a tablet device.

Firefighters boarded the Boeing 737, making sure the fire was out. There were no injuries among the 184 passengers and crew of five.

Passengers were taken to the terminal, offered medical assistance, complimentary food, and will be boarding another plane at 4:00 p.m. continuing their flight to Seattle.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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