Twenty-four people were taken to the hospital Thursday after pilots on a Philadelphia-bound American Airlines plane ordered an emergency evacuation at Palm Beach International Airport.
The emergency chutes were activated moments before takeoff due to a reported hydraulic fluid leak aboard American Airlines flight 1822.
Passengers said the flight started normally with the plane taxiing down the runway, but as they were preparing for takeoff, they heard squealing sounds and then smelled a burning odor.
“All of a sudden, it started smelling really bad,” said Meghan Quinn, a passenger on the plane. “Then out of nowhere, just the whole plane shut off.”
+Video: Passengers reaction
“It was almost like the inside of a paint can, a fume that was crazy,” said Meghan’s mother, Cathy Quinn, who was also on the plane. “It was so disgusting.”
“People were getting concerned quickly,” said Joe Lashinger, another passenger on the plane.
Within moments, pilots were telling everyone to evacuate.
“Oh, it was very frightening because he was very stern in his voice,” Cathy Quinn said.
Quinn said someone opened all the emergency doors and windows, then passengers were instructed to use the emergency ramps and slide off the plane.
“People started screaming,” Cathy Quinn said. “Everybody’s just like, ‘Get off the plane. Get off the plane.'”
“Everyone was screaming,” Meghan Quinn said. “The lady in front of us was having a panic attack, crying. It was scary.”
Palm Beach County fire units responded and set up a triage on the tarmac, where they treated passengers for exposure to the fluid and for some minor injuries, including eye and skin irritation and sprains and bruises passengers sustained after sliding down the chutes.
The airport bused passengers to the terminal.
The aircraft was on taxiway C at runway 10 when it was evacuated.
Hospital officials said there were no major injuries.
A Jet Blue plane was stuck behind for more than an hour before it was finally able to back up and take its passengers to their destination.