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Southwest plane lands safely in Salt Lake City after odor in cockpit

(Reuters) - A Southwest Airlines Co flight from Denver to Salt Lake City landed safely on Tuesday after the pilot detected a strange odor in the cockpit, a spokeswoman for the airline said.

Salt Lake City International Airport spokeswoman Barbara Gann initially said smoke appeared in the cockpit as the pilots prepared to land, but later deferred to the airline, which said there was no smoke in the Boeing 737's cockpit.

"It was a faint odor," said Southwest Spokeswoman Michelle Agnew. "Anytime they smell something that's out of the ordinary, they're going to take it very seriously."

Flight 1291 had taken off from Denver and was nearing the Salt Lake City International Airport shortly before 10 a.m. local time when the pilot noticed the odor and declared an emergency, Agnew said.

After the plane landed without incident, five crew members and 134 passengers were evacuated. There were no reports of injuries, Agnew said.

Once the plane was on the ground, the odor in the cockpit quickly dissipated, she said.

The airplane was sidelined for three hours and inspected by airline maintenance workers before it was put back in service. Because the smell was gone, workers were unable to determine its cause, Agnew said.

The flight originated in Kansas City before stopping in Denver en route to Salt Lake City.

(Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky in Olympia, Washington; Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis, Mohammad Zargham and Dan Grebler)

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