The flight was an hour into a trip from Atlanta and Baltimore when the captain announced to the passengers they were going to have an emergency landing. A spokesman said that plane landed safely at 2.20pm local time at Raleigh-Durham International Airport in Raleigh, North Carolina. The city is categorised by Delta Air Lines as a focus city.
The daily flight takes off from Hartsfield-Jackson International to Baltimore/Washington International and returns all in the space of a few hours.
As reported by Airlive, after the plane landed, the passengers were booked on to alternative flights to Baltimore, with the engine replaced and the MD 88 plane was returned to service yesterday.
The maintenance team in Atlanta, the company’s main HQ is believed to be set to take a look at the damaged engine.
One passenger, Avery Porch told CNN affiliate WMAR: “After we heard the boom we just saw all this smoke come up into the cabin, and that’s when we really started freaking out.
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“It started slowing down a little bit, it started getting hot (and) air cut off.”
Another passenger said: “After, the cabin filled with smoke and seat belt signs went on and off, and you could smell something was burning. Everyone seemed confused. No one knew what was going on.
“Flight attendants were going around telling us how to prepare for landing. They kept everybody calm.”
Gizmodo have reported passengers were given $30 (£24) food vouchers while they waited in Raleigh.
The MD 88 is reportedly the oldest plane in commercial service in the US.
It has gained a reputation for poor controls, small cockpit and extreme noise.
Delta are planning to retire the planes by 2020.
It has been suggested junior pilots can be fast-tracked to captain status if they agree to fly the planes.
Delta runs 5,400 flights daily across 52 countries.