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United flight diverted to remote island; 'electric smell' on board

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Photo: Video by fox4now.com

United flight diverted to remote island; 'electric smell' on board

By Julianne Cassidy. CREATED Jul 13, 2014

A United Airlines Boeing 777 made an emergency landing Friday on a remote island due to a strong smell and smoke.There were reportedly 335 passengers and 13 crew aboard the flight scheduled to go from Honolulu to Guam. No injuries were reported.

The flight was diverted to Midway Island, where passengers and crew were temporarily housed in a gymnasium.

"The captain said there was smoke in the cockpit and the radar failed and other electronic systems were failing, so they had to land. I think they landed old-school. They did an amazing job to get there safely," passenger Karen von Merveldt-Guevara of Sedona, Arizona, tells CNN. "At one point there was one drop of about 40 feet. After that turbulence, it got really silent. I thought everybody was praying, and we were coming in on the wings of faith. We were all praying."

Merveldt-Guevara claims passengers were told the smell began before the flight even left Honolulu, and some left the aircraft at that time. She had 25 family members on board, but believed that they were all safe.

She tells CNN, the flight takeoff was delayed in Honolulu for three hours, during which the plane sat on the tarmac. "Then they let us go, and I thought it didn't feel right, but hey," she said.

In the video shot inside the plane, apparently after it landed on Midway, "a voice on the intercom tells the passengers: 'Midway is not an island that has hotels and things. It's just a diversion airport. What they're offering is they have gymnasium here that you can all go to if you like and they have chairs and things,'" further reports CNN. "We can put you there until we figure out what exactly is going on. They will open up their stores so you can get something to eat."

Seven hours later, a replacement aircraft returned the passengers to Hawaii on Friday. The following day, flight 2105 landed in its original destination, Guam.

Julianne Cassidy

Julianne Cassidy

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A city girl gone country, Julianne Cassidy is a newly Nashville-based entertainment journalist from Philadelphia.