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Flight from Indy to Chicago aborts takeoff, evacuates on tarmac

The Republic Airways jet stopped its takeoff after an odor was reported in the cabin.

INDIANAPOLIS — A Republic Airways flight from Indianapolis to Chicago aborted its takeoff Saturday morning and evacuated on the tarmac at Indianapolis International Airport.

Flight 4837 left the gate just before 7:30 a.m. but never left the ground. Republic said 67 passengers and four crew members were on board the twin-engine Embraer 175 jet.

Dan Jackon and his family were on the flight. He estimated it was going about 80 mph when he said passengers started seeing smoke coming from the cabin door and smelled something burning. 

"There were people crying and kind of screaming and you could see people praying," Jackson said.

Credit: Daniel Jackson

Republic told 13News that the flight stopped its takeoff after an odor was reported in the cabin. 

"Going through my mind was, 'How do we get out of this safely?' The people on the plane took very good care of us to make sure we got out safely," Jackson said. "I tell ya, if it happened in the air I wouldn't be as calm as I am now. "

In a statement, Republic said, "All customers and crew members were safely evacuated." 

The passengers used inflatable slides to exit from the front and rear of the cabin and were taken back to the terminal for rebooking.

"We are working with our partner to get customers to their destination as quickly as possible," Republic said in its statement. 

Credit: Daniel Jackson

Jackson said he and his family boarded a different plane, missed their connection, boarded another plane to Charleston and ended up driving to Hilton Head.

The cause of the odor is still under investigation.

Credit: Daniel Jackson
Passengers evacuated from a Republic Airways flight from Indianapolis to Chicago after it stopped short of taking off Saturday, June 4, 2022 after an odor was detected in the cabin.

***CORRECTION*** A previous version of this report misidentifed Mr. Jackson as Dan Parker. WTHR regrets the error.

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