A JetBlue flight with 147 people aboard experienced engine trouble shortly after takeoff from Long Beach Airport on Thursday and made an emergency landing back at the airfield, where passengers evacuated the plane using emergency slides and four people were treated by paramedics.

Flight 1416 bound for Austin, Texas, took off around 9:05 a.m., and 10 minutes later the pilot reported an “overheat warning” on its number 2 engine, officials said.

The plane landed safely back at the airport around 9:30 a.m., and passengers slid down emergency slides onto the tarmac. They were eventually loaded into buses and returned to the terminal.

“Our paramedics treated four people from the aircraft,” Long Beach Fire Department spokesman Jake Heflin told City News Service. “One person was experiencing some tailbone pain from going down the slide, two others wanted paramedics to look them over, and those three people were released at the scene.

“A fourth person was experiencing some breathing problems and that person was taken to the hospital by paramedics,” he said.

Heflin said passengers had to use the slides to evacuate the jet because there was smoke inside the cabin.

“That’s why the pilots ordered the slides to be used,” Heflin said. “The pilots also deployed fire extinguishing agents on the number 2 engine and those agents also caused some smoke.”

Heflin said it doesn’t appear there was an explosion in the damaged engine, and it was unclear if there was an actual fire because of the smoke caused by the fire extinguishing agents.

The jet landed on the airport’s main runway and for a time the airport was closed to commercial traffic, according to JetBlue spokeswoman Jessica Felipe and Long Beach Airport officials. Inbound flights were temporarily redirected to nearby airports and travelers were urged to call their airlines concerning delays in their flights, Felipe said.

The airport reopened by about 11:30 a.m. when the JetBlue plane was towed off the main runway.

The plane had 142 passengers and five crew members aboard, according to the airport.

Actor Jackson Rathbone, 29, best known for his role in the “Twilight” films, was among the passengers and described the harrowing ordeal on his Twitter page and the website whosay.com.

“We were on JetBlue flight 1416 to Austin from Long Beach. Our right engine exploded and our cabin filled with smoke,” Rathbone wrote. “The oxygen masks did not deploy, but the brave stewardesses came around and manually deployed them.”

Rathbone said he “recited the Lord’s Prayer as I held my son and my wife in my arms.”

“Over the PA, the pilot yelled ‘Brace!’ The stewardesses made it into a chant,” he said.

He said the plane careened sharply back toward the airport, but the landing “wasn’t even all that rough, honestly.”

“I just couldn’t stop kissing my family,” he said.

Staff and wire reports

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