‘I just thought the plane was gonna blow up’: Passenger recounts emergency landing in Madison

MADISON, Wis. — After spending the day with her mom in New York City, Barena Wilder caught an American Airlines flight that was headed back to her home state of California on Sunday, but what happened midflight left her shaken up.

Like many, Wilder fell asleep on her flight, but instead of a crying baby, she was awoken by a weird smell.

“When I woke up I saw the smoke. It was like coming from the bottom of the plane,” she recounted. “It was like about two rows ahead of me so I panicked. I got scared and I ran to the back.”

RELATED: American Airlines flight makes emergency landing in Madison

Wilder was rushing to find a flight attendant. “I didn’t know what was going on,” she said. “I just said ‘fire’, you know, to get their attention.”

She said the flight crew was quick to respond but everyone on board was nervous, then the lights went out.

The only thing on her mind were her two kids.

“I heard them say ‘One down.’ I’m in panic mode, like I gotta get back to California,” she said. “Thank god the plane landed safely.”

Everyone onboard, 190 people, landed safely at Dane County Regional airport.

Wilder also said though she’s thankful to have made it through she wishes American Airlines would’ve offered more support to those onboard after the landing.

“You would think that they would come and say ‘hey are you ok,’ you know,” she said.

News 3 has reached out to the airline but they’ve yet to respond

American Airlines did reply to one man on twitter who News 3 Now confirmed was on the plane.

They tweeted, “Safety will always be American’s top concern. Our teams will take excellent care of you and have you on your way again as soon as we can.”

The faulty plane will stay in Madison until it can be inspected, passengers were put on a new flight to LAX that same night.