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Evacuation slide deploys inside aircraft on flight to Logan

A JetBlue flight from Fort Myers, Fla., to Logan International Airport was diverted to Orlando Wednesday after an evacuation slide deployed into the cabin in midflight with a loud boom, injuring a flight attendant and alarming passengers.

The flight attendant suffered minor injuries when the slide on Flight 1266 burst into the plane’s front galley, said Loren Duran, a spokesman for JetBlue Airways Inc. No one else was hurt.

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“Out of an abundance of caution, an emergency was declared,” Duran said.

The plane landed safely at Orlando International Airport at 3:45 p.m., and the passengers exited through the rear of the plane, Duran said.

A retired Globe photographer witnessed the ordeal from the plane’s seventh row.

“It was scary. It was a loud boom, and when that happens on an airplane, it really gets your attention,” said Frank O’Brien, 72, of Canton.

O’Brien said the slide “exploded” into the cabin, filling the space between the cockpit and the first row of seats, pinning the flight attendant.

“How he escaped without serious injuries, I don’t know,” O’Brien said.

A passenger was able to puncture the slide to deflate it and free the crew member, O’Brien said.

The plane was taken out of service for further inspection.

Duran said another flight was scheduled to depart from Orlando at 6:30 p.m. to bring the passengers to Boston.

Nicholas Jacques can be reached at
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