Vegas-bound Spirit Airlines flight diverted to KCI after witnesses report smelling smoke in cabin

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Spirit Airlines flight was forced to make an unplanned landing at the Kansas City airport when smoke appeared in the plane's cabin.

Spirit Airlines 551 was traveling from Akron-Canton Airport in Ohio to Las Vegas with 171 people on board when someone noticed smoke inside the plane.

Fox 4's Molly Balkenbush was at KCI and spoke to people who were on that flight.

One woman told FOX 4 things turned scary fast.

Julie Lee was onboard the flight and said she began smelling smoke in the cabin when someone came over the plane intercom and warned an emergency landing was ahead.

According to a Spirit Airlines representative, the pilot in the cockpit smelled an electrical smell. When they smell that, they put on their masks because they didn't know what it was. The pilots then deployed the masks in the cabin.

Spirit Airlines staff said while it may have smelled like smoke, the odor came from a faulty fan.

Julie Lee was inside the gate couldn't get out to speak directly to the camera, but we were able to communicate to her from the other side through a phone.

"We were probably in the air for about 45 minutes and then all the sudden they came on and they said oxygen levels are falling and the masks fell out of the ceiling and then we were told to put them on immediately. We had them all, they let us know we were doing an emergency landing into Kansas City," Lee recalled.

Spirit Airlines said the emergency landing was made out of an abundance of caution and said no passengers were ever in danger.

According to Flight Aware the plane departed from KCI at 11:27 p.m. CT and landed in Las Vegas around midnight PT.

Passengers on a Spirit Airline flight wear air masks onboard a flight that was diverted to KCI.

A passenger onboard Spirit flight 551 wears an air mask before the Las Vegas-bound plane was diverted to KCI on Sunday.