Listen Live

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Passengers aboard a Florida-bound regional jet were forced to evacuate onto the taxiway just before takeoff Monday.

The flight with 60 passengers and four crew members was taxiing for takeoff to Orlando, Florida, when an odor was reported in the cabin, a statement from American Airlines told WSOC-TV.

The event resulted in a large emergency response at the airport. People could be seen taking their luggage from the plane.

Passengers exited the plane through boarding doors onto the ramp, the airline told WSOC. They were then taken by bus back to the terminal and expected to board another flight bound for their destination.

Evacuated passengers

Dozens of people were evacuated onto the taxiway.

The American Airlines CRJ-900 regional jet had been taxiing for takeoff, bound for Melbourne Orlando International Airport, according to FlightAware plane tracking.

“There was a request for assistance regarding a possible odor on board the aircraft. Per protocol, emergency crews have responded and buses are returning passengers to the terminal,” Charlotte Douglas International Airport said in a statement following the incident.

American Airlines released a statement shortly after the incident.

“Shortly after 9:30 a.m. ET, American Eagle Flight 5594 operated by PSA Airlines, halted takeoff from Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) due to reports of a potential odor in the cabin. The aircraft stopped safely on the taxiway where customers were asked to deplane through boarding doors onto the ramp. Buses were used to transport customers back to the terminal where they are expected to board another aircraft for continuing service to Melbourne, Florida (MLB). We thank our customers for their patience and our flight crew for their efforts to ensure the safety of all those on board.”

According to WSOC-TV, FAA reports show that this aircraft had two prior issues in the last year, including fumes in the cockpit connected with an electrical smoke odor in December.