Two-pronged trouble sends big jetliner on unplanned trip to Alberta

CALGARY — An American Airlines passenger jet en route from Texas to Beijing had to be detoured to Alberta following a medical emergency and a mechanical problem.

The airline says the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner left Dallas-Fort Worth late Thursday morning.

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The aircraft was going north over Manitoba when it veered southwest through Saskatchewan and entered Alberta just east of Fort McMurray.

The plane continued to Edmonton and circled the city before it turned south for Calgary because of a longer runway there.

The aircraft had been fuelled for a non-stop flight and efforts were made to burn off excess fuel to reduce its landing weight.

Details surrounding the medical emergency and mechanical issue have not been released, although a passenger says the plane had problems with its flaps.

The jet landed shortly before 5 p.m. local time. Calgary emergency medical authorities said they did not have to take any of the 209 passengers or 13 crew members from the aircraft.

American Airlines said in a statement that the passengers would stay overnight in hotels and that a plane would be sent from Dallas to continue their trip to Beijing.

"Our maintenance team will also be on that flight," the company said. (CTV Calgary)

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