GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — An American Airlines plane made an emergency landing after damage inside the cabin Monday evening.
The incident happened on American Airlines flight 3721 that was scheduled to fly from Grand Rapids to Chicago.
Flightradar24.com shows the plane leaving GRR just before 6 p.m. Minutes into the flight, the plane turns around over the Zeeland area and returns to the airport.
One of the passengers on the plane, Peter Pan, said he heard three loud bangs before parts of the plane’s interior began coming apart. Photos from inside the aircraft show debris on the seats and part of the planes interior shell damaged.
The aircraft was part of Envoy Air, a subsidiary of American Airlines. An AA spokesperson told 24 Hour News 8 that passengers were never in any danger.
The spokesperson said the damage was limited to the interior shell of the aircraft and did not impact the plane’s airworthiness. In fact, he said, the flight crew went on to fly the plane to another location so the interior could be repaired.
Pan said the incident caused him to fear for his life.
“It was kind of a terrifying experience for us,” he said. “I was just praying for my soul.”
After returning to GRR, Pan said the airline provided little relief for passengers. He said they were given a voucher for a meal and a hotel stay but nothing more.
The AA spokesperson said the airline was working to contact passengers to make sure their customers are taken care of.
Online reports from websites that track aviation incidents reported that a cracked window was the cause of the emergency landing, but the American Airlines spokesperson said that was not the case.
Records show the aircraft was back in service by December 1.