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JetBlue flight left stranded on runway after landing in Worcester

This file photo of Worcester Regional Airport was taken on March 1, 2016.Dina Rudick/Globe Staff/file

A JetBlue flight was left stranded on the runway at Worcester Regional Airport early Tuesday morning due to staffing issues.

Sabrina Ruelle told WCVB-TV that she was one of the many passengers who was stuck on the plane for 45 minutes after they landed in Worcester.

“It was silence, then the pilot said, ‘I have something embarrassing to tell you guys — there is nobody to get you off the flight,’” Sabrina Ruelle said in an interview with WCVB. “They had no staff available to get us off the airplane!”

JetBlue Flight 676 was running 36 minutes behind schedule when it left New York at 11:26 p.m. on Monday night. The flight landed in Worcester at 12:16 a.m., but didn’t make it to the gate until 1:03 a.m., according to the flight tracking website


“The state police were there and they were going to have to evacuate us,” Ruelle told WCVB-TV, “but then they got ahold of a JetBlue manager and had to have him drive from his house to the airport to let us off the airplane.”

Derek Dombrowski, a spokesman for JetBlue, said the staff member who was supposed to operate the equipment that allows passengers to exit the plane was not available due to illness. Another staff member was then called in to help.

“After reviewing this situation, we’ve determined an airport crewmember trained on safely operating the jet bridge was not available due to being ill and unable to perform their duties,” Dombrowski said in a email to the Globe. “Another jet bridge trained crewmember was called to assist, but the flight was required to wait approximately 45 minutes before deplaning. We apologize to our customers for this delay.”

Emily Sweeney can be reached at Follow her @emilysweeney and on Instagram @emilysweeney22.