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Burning Electrical Smell Diverts Southwest Flight From Oakland

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A Southwest Airlines jet from Oakland is shown at the gate at LAX after being diverted from its destination to San Diego, April, 3, 2011. (NNS/KTTV)

A Southwest Airlines jet from Oakland is shown at the gate at LAX after being diverted from its destination to San Diego, April, 3, 2011. (NNS/KTTV)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS SF) — Officials said a Southwest Airlines jetliner from Oakland carrying 142 people diverted to Los Angeles Sunday night because of a burning electrical smell in the passenger cabin.

It was one of two diversions involving Bay Area flights during a 12-hour period, authorities said. The other was a United Airlines plane headed to San Francisco from New Orleans that had to make an emergency landing after experiencing mechanical problems.

The unscheduled landing of Southwest flight 1588 from Oakland to San Diego came two days after another Southwest aircraft, a Boeing 737-300 headed to Sacramento, made an emergency landing in Arizona after a hole was torn in the passenger cabin ceiling. No one was seriously hurt.

Flight 1588 took off from Oakland International Airport at 7:17 p.m. Sunday, and once en route the pilot detected “some sort of electrical smell” in the plane’s cabin and diverted the flight to LAX “out of an abundance of caution,” Southwest Airlines spokesman Brad Hawkins said.

The aircraft arrived at 8:11 p.m. at Los Angeles and passengers changed planes to continue onward to San Diego without further incident. No one was injured.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

Hundreds of other Bay Area flights have also been canceled or delayed since the hole tore open Friday in the Southwest plane going to Sacramento.

“There is no evidence of anything electrical that had happened,” but Hawkins said officials continued to investigate. Southwest also stressed that the incident “was completely unrelated to the issue in Arizona.”

Sunday’s aircraft was also a Boeing 737 model like the one involved in the ill-fated Sacramento flight.

Southwest has inspected dozens of their planes since Friday’s incident, and found three other aircraft with subsurface cracks. Those planes will remain out of service until repairs are completed, according to the airline.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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