American Airlines Flight 175 from Dallas/Fort Worth to Tokyo had to land in Alaska, arriving safely at the Eareckson Air Station on the state's remote Shemya Island Sunday afternoon
The island, at the far western edge of the Aleutian Island archipelago, is actually closer to Russia's East Coast than it is to most of Alaska. The island is about located about 1,500 miles from Anchorage -- Alaska's biggest city -- and about 2,000 from its original destination of Tokyo.
The Associated Press sets the scene, writing that after arriving "on the treeless, tundra-carpeted island, the mood among the passengers ranged from fear to the thrill of such an experience in the middle of nowhere, said Maj. Spencer T. Van Meter, 611th Air Support Squadron commander at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage. He also described passengers as 'very happy and appreciative.' "
The Tokyo-bound flight made the emergency landing in Alaska after a fire warning light malfunctioned, an AA spokesman said Monday. AP reports "it turned out there was no fire, despite the warning light from a cargo compartment of the Boeing 777. [AA spokesman Tim Smith] said the 197 passengers were evacuated while cargo was removed. No injuries were reported."
That's quite an adventure...in the middle of nowhere, no less. Guess they couldn't all get off the plane to go to the bathroom.