Unexpected Delivery: Plane's Emergency Slide Lands in Chicago Backyard
An evacuation slide from a plane making its approach to O'Hare International Airport in Chicago fell and struck a residential home, causing a surprising interruption to a family's lunchtime routine.
A Loud Noise and a Big Surprise
Patrick Devitt, the homeowner, was on his way to his home on the Northwest Side when his son and father-in-law, who were inside the house, heard a loud noise around 12:15 p.m. on Monday. The source of the noise was an emergency slide that had fallen from a plane, struck their home, and landed in their backyard.
Devitt explained to WBBM-TV, "So it hit right there on the downspout and came straight down." The slide caused damage to the roof shingles, downspout, and a kitchen window screen before coming to rest in the yard.
A Larger Than Life Discovery
Devitt dragged the slide to the front of his home, discovering just how large the piece of equipment was. "When it's all stretched out, like, it's a little jumbled up. I'm sure, in the picture, from when we dragged it out, it's larger than a small car. It's a very, very big piece of equipment that fell," he told WLS-TV.
Investigating the Incident
After the family called 911, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) team arrived about 30 minutes later. The FAA confirmed that crews at O'Hare discovered a United Airlines Boeing 767, which had just landed from Switzerland, was missing its emergency slide.
Both the FAA and United Airlines are currently investigating what caused the slide to fall from the plane.
Reflecting on the unexpected incident, Devitt said, "I'm stunned a little bit. I'm just glad that everybody is safe and OK. Just, just seeing that in my back yard, like wow. This really happened. It fell off of an airplane and landed in our back yard."