Seattle-bound Delta flight diverted to Alaska after potential mechanical issue

SEATTLE -- A Delta Airlines flight from Beijing to Seattle was diverted to a small island in Alaska due to a potential engine issue.

A Delta Airlines spokesperson confirmed that Flight 128 had 194 customers on board Christmas Eve when it had to make the emergency landing in Shemya, Alaska, a remote island and part of the Aleutian Islands chain.

“Delta apologizes to customers for the delay and has sent another aircraft to continue the flight to Seattle. The safety of our customers and crew is always Delta’s top priority," Delta said in a statement.

Passengers waited for hours for another plane to pick them up in Shemya.  That plane, Delta Flight 9928, eventually landed at Sea-Tac at about 10:15 p.m. Monday.

Alex Yuan, a passenger on board, told Q13 that although their travels were delayed by several hours, passengers were thankful that safety was a top priority for Delta.

"It was a small airport, and the people were very nice," he said. "They provided some temporary beds for us. We got some rest. I think Delta is very considerate. The captain was very good. They tried to keep our travels safe."

Yuan said because the airport is owned by the U.S. military, passengers were unable to take pictures, and they had to leave all electronics on the plane.

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