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Plane Carrying Pitt Fans, Cheerleaders Makes Emergency Landing

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Some Pitt Panthers fans and cheerleaders were on board on a plane that had to make an emergency landing Friday morning.

The American Airlines flight was traveling from Charlotte, N.C., to Greensboro, N.C. The Panthers are scheduled to take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Saturday afternoon.

Airline officials say an odor in the cabin prompted the flight to turn around and return to the Charlotte Douglas International Airport shortly after take-off.

"Once we got in the air, it was a little after 8:30 a.m., the whole plane just started smelling of smoke," Pitt fan Ken Strauss said. "I thought it was just maybe a bad smell from the air conditioning."

Strauss tweeted a photo of the incident, showing passengers standing outside the plane and what appears to be a firefighter walking on board.

Airline officials say no fire was reported. The odor was reportedly caused by an electrical issue.

The passengers had to wait about two and a half hours before they were placed on another plane.

Pitt cheerleaders and coaches were also on the flight. A representative from the Pitt Athletic Department said the squad arrived safely in Greensboro and will be at Wake Forest to cheer on the football team Saturday.

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