UPDATE: The Baltimore Orioles team charter made an emergency landing Sunday night because of a "small fire" and smoke on the plane coming from the kitchen area, The Baltimore Sun's Eduardo A. Encina reported. No one was injured, and the Orioles soon resumed their flight to Tampa Bay, where they will begin a season-ending, three-game series against the Rays on Monday.
MASN's Roch Kubatko first reported that the landing was caused by a "small fire":
#orioles charter had "small" fire aboard and had to make emergency landing. Players currently at Jacksonville airport while plane inspected
— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) October 1, 2012
Fifteen minutes later, Encina reported that the team was ready to board the plane again after inspection and that the fire came from the kitchen area.
#Orioles' emergency landing was precautionary move because of smoke coming out of the oven in the plane's kitchen area.
— Eduardo A. Encina (@EddieInTheYard) October 1, 2012
MASN's Steve Melewski reported that Orioles spokesman Ned Rice posted this message to his Facebook page:
"Small fire on our team flight to Tampa Bay," Rice wrote. "They came on and told us we needed to make an emergency landing, and then we were nearly free falling for a few minutes as they raced to get us on the ground as fast as possible. Currently enjoying the beautiful Jacksonville, FL airport while the fire department inspects our plane. Hope this trip is worth it!"
Meanwhile, Baltimore clinched its first playoff berth since 1997 when the Texas Rangers defeated the Los Angeles Angels. The Orioles won their fourth straight game Sunday to remain tied with the New York Yankees atop the American League East, a 6-3 romp over the Boston Red Sox.