(Adds comment from FAA, third paragraph)
By Horace Helps
KINGSTON, April 1 (Reuters) - Jamaica airport authorities on Tuesday were investigating the emergency landing of a Florida-bound JetBlue airliner that was forced to return to the Caribbean island on Monday night after reports of a smoke odor onboard.
The flight was headed to Fort Lauderdale from Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston but returned to Jamaica 15 minutes after take-off, JetBlue officials said on the airline’s website.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said the crew reported smoke in the cockpit.
Alfredo McDonald, an official with Jamaica’s Airports Authority, said authorities were looking into reports that smoke was coming from one of the plane’s engines.
The plane, an Embraer E190, was carrying 98 passengers and four crew members, McDonald said.
“Six customers have been taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons and they have been released,” JetBlue spokeswoman Gina Recine said. “Right now all we have is smoke odor and we’re looking into that today.”
One passenger told a Kingston radio station that an engine caught fire. A JetBlue spokeswoman told Reuters there were no reports of fire.
McDonald said one passenger suffered a broken leg while exiting the aircraft.
The airport was closed temporarily, and officials said the aircraft would remain on the ground until mechanical checks were performed. (Additional reporting by Zachary Fagenson in Miami; Writing by Barbara Liston; Editing by David Adams and Dan Grebler)