A plane carrying the National Hockey League’s Dallas Stars landed safely at St. Louis Downtown Airport despite having smoke in the cockpit.
The Stars 737 airplane took off at 11:52 a.m. to head to Los Angeles for their next game with the Kings, but less than five minutes into the flight had to turn around because of smoke in the cockpit. The team was in St. Louis for a Saturday night game against the Blues.
The plane was carrying 50 passengers, the team and its personnel.
St. Louis Downtown Airport Fire Department Chief Mike Mavrogeorge said the smoke might have been caused by an electrical issue, but that there was no fire. The fire department shut off electricity to the plane. Maintenance crews were inspecting the plane while another was on the way to take the Stars to Los Angeles in time for Monday’s game.
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The team tucked into a lunch they were supposed to eat on the plane while they waited in the Jet Aviation terminal. Stars spokesman Ben Fromstein said the team didn’t notice any smoke in the cabin. “Everybody is safe and that’s all that matters,” he said.
The fire chief said his crew of eight firefighters is well-versed in responding to aircraft emergencies. Just recently they trained on how to respond to a 737 crash. While electrical problems are rare, “they do happen,” Mavrogeorge said.
Cahokia, Sauget and Camp Jackson fire departments, along with MedStar ambulance, also responded to the scene.