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SFO Flight Makes Emergency Landing In Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KCBS) - A Virgin America flight to New York made an emergency landing in Grand Junction, Colorado early Thursday just a couple of hours after taking off from San Francisco International Airport.

None of the 117 passengers aboard Virgin Flight 28 was injured, said Rex Tippetts, director of aviation at the Grand Junction Airport. He said the flight bound for John F. Kennedy International Airport was diverted because one of the Airbus 319's engines failed.

"They shut down one engine and landed with one engine," Tippetts said.

KCBS' Holly Quan Reports:

The flight took off from SFO shortly after 11 p.m. Pacific time. Tippetts said fire fighters and emergency response teams at the Colorado airport were advised of the unscheduled landing at 1:36 a.m. Mountain time.

The husband of one passenger told KCBS Radio his wife saw flames coming from the plane's engine after the landing, a report Tippetts and airline officials could not corroborate.

A spokeswoman for Virgin America confirmed that the flight was forced to land because of a "mechanical issue that needed inspection."

Tippetts said the scene was cleared in less than half an hour.

Crew members reported that the travelers were patient throughout the delays, and Virgin America spokeswoman Patricia Condon said the airline was refunding the affected passengers and providing them each with a $150 credit. Condon said the airline was also paying for hotel and food costs.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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