April 29, 2016 / 1:40 PM / 4 years ago

Philadelphia flights briefly halted after two planes report problems

(Reuters) - All flights into Philadelphia International Airport were halted for less than an hour on Friday morning after pilots of two planes reported problems - including smoke in the cabin - before landing safely.

The pilot of American Eagle flight 4801 from Richmond, Virginia, operated by Piedmont Airlines, reported smoke in the cockpit just before the plane’s regularly scheduled arrival, according to Victoria Lupic, a spokeswoman for American Airlines Group Inc whose American Eagle brand uses regional airlines to operate short and medium haul feeder flights.

After the plane landed at about 8:15 a.m. (1215 GMT), all 50 passengers and four crew members aboard the Embraer E145 were evacuated and no serious injuries were reported.

A short time earlier, an American Eagle flight operated by Republic Airways had reported a possible mechanical issue upon landing, according to Philadelphia airport spokeswoman Mary Flannery and American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein.

The plane landed safely and was towed to a gate, Feinstein said. There were no injuries, he said.

The back-to-back reports of problems prompted runways to be closed for less than an hour.

“FAA has issued ground stop due to aircraft emergency at PHL,” the airport posted on Twitter at 8:31 a.m.

Shortly after 9 a.m., a tweet from the Federal Aviation Administration said, “@PHLairport re-opened, air traffic delays expected as arrivals/departures resume with one runway operational.”

Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York and Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago; Editing by Bill Trott and Marguerita Choy

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