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Stranded plane

More than 200 passengers and crew from a Detroit-bound Delta Airbus found themselves in Cheyenne on Friday when mechanical problems forced pilots to make an emergency landing at the Cheyenne Airport. The passengers on the airplane, headed from Salt Lake City to Detroit, spent about nine hours in the airport before another plane could be sent to pick them up. No one was injured in the emergency landing, which was prompted by alarms of rising temperatures in the airplane's cargo compartment.

CHEYENNE — Pilots of a Delta Airbus A321 made an emergency landing at Cheyenne Regional Airport on Friday afternoon, leaving airport staff scrambling to assist more than 200 passengers and crew members for at least nine hours.

Around 3 p.m., pilots detected rising temperatures in the cargo compartment of a plane headed from Salt Lake City to Detroit, and deployed the aircraft’s fire extinguishing bottles.

“As soon as they did that at 35,000 feet, they knew they needed to land at an airport quickly” said Cheyenne Regional Airport director Tim Barth. “And, we were it. I got a call around 3:15 p.m. as I was leaving. They said ‘we’ve got an inbound Delta Airbus that’s on fire,’ which got my attention.”

It’s still unclear whether fire was found on the plane, but passengers re-boarded to retrieve belongings after it was cleared by firefighters. No injuries were reported.

But passengers headed east were in good spirits following the incident.

“I’d never heard of Cheyenne before this,” said Mark Galsworth. “But we’re making the best of it, the only thing missing is maybe some beer.”

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There was no beer, but Delta did give airport staff the company credit card to arrange catering through Little America.

“They’ve been taking care of us,” said Detroit resident Yolanda Screws.

“They even brought in two different meals. We can’t leave the terminal unless we want to book another flight or drive down to Denver,” Screws said.

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