United flight evacuated at Dulles

The evacuated United Airlines flight at Dulles. (Photo: WJLA)

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(AP, ABC7) - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is 78 and has battled cancer, was forced to slide down an emergency chute to evacuate a flight at Dulles International Airport on Wednesday that was grounded because of engine problems, a court spokeswoman said.

Ginsburg was on her way from Washington to San Francisco and was not injured, said Supreme Court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe Estrada.

The captain ordered the evacuation of United Airlines Flight 586 after smoke appeared out of one of the plane's engines, said United spokesman Mike Trevino. He said it wasn't clear what caused the smoke, and that the emergency chutes were used to speed the evacuation. In all, 179 passengers and six crew members evacuated.

The plane returned to the terminal after the passengers were off.

Airport spokeswoman Kimberly Gibbs says three people suffered minor injuries during the evacuation, two of whom refused treatment, and one was taken to a hospital.

One passenger, Jodi Gersh, director of social media for the Gannett media company, described feeling anxious on her Twitter feed as the plane was forced to evacuate.

"My plane just had an emergency evacuation - down the slides. I am shaking. I don't know why. People were screaming."

Later, she posted, "Attendants opened rear door to see where smoke was coming from. They then started very loudly yelling `everyone get out.' Very scary."

Another passenger, Susannah Fox, said in an email to The Associated Press that the evacuation itself was "calm and orderly" and that passengers retrieved carry-on belongings row-by-row. They were directed to an airport lounge in anticipation of a flight later in the afternoon.

Ginsburg, the high court's oldest justice, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009.

She underwent surgery and chemotherapy for the cancer and was hospitalized on two other occasions that year but is maintaining an active travel schedule that is taking her across the country at least twice this summer.

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MWAA Spokesperson Tara Hamilton confirms there were three reports of injuries. Two people declined to be transported to a local hospital while one was taken to a local hospital to be checked out.

The injured person did not suffer life threatening injuries.

United Airlines Spokesperson Mike Trevino says the airline is reviewing the situation to determine exactly what occurred. But Trevinio said there was no smoke inside the cabin.

There were 179 passengers and 6 crew members were on the plane.

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My plane just had an emergency evacuation- down the slides. I am shaking. I don't yet know why. People were screaming. #iad #unitedless than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet ReplyJodi Gersh