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Burning smell forces emergency landing of United flight from Los Angeles to Washington, DC


ONTARIO, California — A United Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., made a quick emergency landing at another Southern California airport Thursday morning after passengers reported a burning smell on board.

United Flight 1181 from Los Angeles International Airport to Dulles International Airport landed safely at Ontario International Airport, about 40 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, just before 9 a.m.

There were no reports of injuries among the 199 passengers and seven crew members, United spokeswoman Mary Ryan said.

About half an hour into the flight the pilot declared an emergency, and within about five minutes the plane was on the ground, according to Harold Johnson, an Ontario airport spokesman.

"They put the pedal to the metal and got us here pretty quickly," said passenger Jim Clarke. "It was a quick landing."

The atmosphere on the plane was calm, as was the evacuation, Clarke said.

Fire crews on the tarmac sprayed down the Boeing 757's brakes; with a full tank of fuel for a cross-country haul, the plane was heavy and the brakes hot.

A maintenance crew was checking the aircraft, and the airline was working to reroute passengers to Washington, Ryan said.

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