Fire Forces Passengers Off Southwest Plane at John Wayne Airport

A fire forced passengers aboard a Southwest flight ready to take off from John Wayne Airport to San Jose to deplane on Monday evening.

Southwest Airlines Flight 2123 reported smoke in the cabin around 7:30 p.m., according to the Orange County Fire Authority. The fire -- believed to be in the Boeing 737's auxiliary power unit -- caused the plane's emergency chutes to deploy to evacuate 139 passengers and five crew members.

A few minor injuries were reported, but no one was transported, according to airport officials. Those injuries were from exiting on chutes -- not the fire.

Passengers said some travelers began screaming when they noticed the smoke.  

"As always, the Safety of our Customers and Employees is our number one priority and we regret any inconvenience the event has caused," a Southwest spokeswoman said. 

The passengers were slated to board another flight at John Wayne shortly before 9 p.m. 

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