Eagle River woman charged after gun goes off on Alaska Airlines jet

Posted: Tuesday, April 25, 2000

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- An Eagle River woman was the subject of criminal charges after a gun discharged in a baggage compartment on an Alaska Airlines flight while the plane was on the ground. No one was injured.

The bullet from a .357-caliber revolver went from the cargo hold through the floor of the passenger area and lodged in a diaper bag beneath a seat Monday night, Port of Portland spokesman Doug Roberts said.

The 737 jetliner was scheduled to depart Portland International Airport for Anchorage, Roberts said.

The crew of Flight 101 and the plane's 86 passengers were transferred to another aircraft.

Passenger Betty Jean Smith, 66, of Eagle River, was charged with reckless endangerment and concealing a weapon without a permit. She was released to relatives in Vancouver, Wash.

The gun was one of two stored in her bag, authorities said.

Grant Johnston, of Anchorage, owned the diaper bag that was struck by the bullet. He told Portland television station KGW that he heard a loud noise at his feet and told a flight attendant.

''She went and checked with the pilot and came back and said it was probably just the cargo door closing, but a few minutes later they said somebody had a loaded gun in their suitcase and when the baggage handler threw it on board, it went off,'' Johnston said.

Subscribe to Peninsula Clarion

Trending this week:


© 2018. All Rights Reserved. | Contact Us