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Canadian jet makes emergency landing at Newark with possible cargo hold fire

Key Points
  • An Air Transat flight from Montreal to Fort Lauderdale diverted to Newark because of a possible fire in the cargo hold.
  • All flights in and out of Newark Liberty International Airport were halted Saturday morning.
  • The plane is currently on the ground and passengers were evacuated via emergency slides.
An Air Transat airplane, courtesy photo
Air Transat

Officials briefly halted flights in and out of Newark Liberty International Airport Saturday morning after a plane flying from Canada to Florida made an emergency landing there with a possible fire in the cargo hold, officials said.

Air Transat Flight 942, a Boeing 737, was flying from Montreal to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and diverted to Newark at 8:30 a.m. because of a possible fire in the cargo hold, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The plane was met by airport firefighters at Newark.

The Air Transat jet had 189 passengers and six crew members on board and made the emergency landing after reports of smoke in the cargo hold, said airline spokeswoman Debbie Cabana. No one was injured, she said.

Passengers evacuated by emergency slides, said the FAA.

As of 9:45 a.m. flights had resumed, the airport said in a tweet.

Departing flights were delayed by a least 45 minutes, and arriving flights are delayed by at least one hour.

The source of the smoke was not immediately clear, but cargo hold fires have become a concern among federal officials and lawmakers. Last month, the Department of Transportation unveiled stricter rules for the transportation of lithium ion batteries by air due to fears of fires in cargo holds.