FedEx plane makes emergency landing in Whitehorse

A FedEx cargo plane on its way to Anchorage made an emergency landing in Whitehorse Thursday morning.

A FedEx cargo plane on its way to Anchorage made an emergency landing in Whitehorse Thursday morning.

The airport manager at the Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport received an emergency phone call from a FedEx official around 7:25 a.m., said Doris Wurfbaum, a spokesperson with Yukon’s Department of Public Works.

The airport started emergency procedures and fire crews were staged, prepared for the worse, when the Boeing 777 landed safely around 8 a.m.

“We had to divert the plane due to technical issues in flight, and it landed safely at the nearest airport,” said FedEx spokesperson Bonny Harrison. “Everyone on board is safe, and our mechanics are currently assessing the incident.”

According to the American federal aviation authorities, FedEx 195 diverted to Whitehorse “after the flight crew reported that a warning light in the cockpit indicated a possible onboard fire,” said spokesperson Kathleen Bergen.

The flight departed from Memphis International Airport in Tennessee and was destined for Anchorage International Airport in Alaska.

Neither the FAA nor FedEx would say whether there was any evidence of an actual fire onboard.

Harrison wouldn’t say how many people were onboard or speculate on what caused the emergency.

“Our focus now is assisting authorities and the FAA in the investigation.”

After it landed, the plane sat on the runway until about 9:25 a.m. when it was taxied to the airport’s north apron, near the Alaska Highway.

There’s no word on how long it could sit there.

Harrison said the company is working on getting the cargo to its final destinations.

The Air North flight scheduled to head to Vancouver at 8 a.m. that morning was delayed about an hour and a half while the runway was cleared.

Wurfbaum said, from her department’s perspective, everything went as planned.

“Everything went as it’s supposed to. We were more than ready for this.”

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