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Fire on Plane Forces Landing

December 16, 2006

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) _ A personal air filter sparked a fire Friday on a Continental Airlines jet with 160 people on board, forcing an emergency landing.

Six people were taken to a hospital, officials said. Their condition was not immediately known, John McGinley, Colorado Springs Airport’s assistant director of operations, told The Gazette of Colorado Springs.

Flight attendants put out the flames, and the plane landed safely at around 5 p.m. Mountain time, Continental spokeswoman Julie King told The Associated Press.

The battery-powered device, which is worn around the neck and filters air near the person wearing it, malfunctioned and sparked a fire, King said.

The person was wearing it when it caught fire, but it was unclear how badly hurt the person was.

Flight 1065 had 154 passengers and six crew members aboard and was en route from Houston to Portland, Ore., King said.

She said at least two seat cushions needed to be replaced, she said.

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