By DAVID DISHNEAU
CHANTILLY, Va. (AP) — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is 78 and has battled cancer, was forced to slide down an emergency chute to evacuate a flight at Dulles International Airport on Wednesday, a court spokeswoman said.
Ginsburg was on her way from Washington to San Francisco and was not injured, said Supreme Court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe Estrada.
A pilot noticed a problem with the engine on the United Airlines Flight 586 and ordered 179 passengers and six crew members to exit, said airport spokeswoman Kimberly Gibbs.
Gibbs said three people suffered minor injuries during the evacuation, two of whom refused treatment, and one was taken to a hospital.
One passenger, Jodi Gersh, director of social media for the Gannett media company, described panic on her Twitter feed as the plane was forced to evacuate.
“My plane just had an emergency evacuation — down the slides. I am shaking. I don’t know why. People were screaming.”
Later, she posted, “Attendants opened rear door to see where smoke was coming from. They then started very loudly yelling ‘everyone get out.’ Very scary.”
Officials have not confirmed whether smoke was detected on board and have released few details of what went wrong. The plane returned to the terminal after the passengers were off.
Ginsburg, the high court’s oldest justice, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009.
She underwent surgery and chemotherapy for the cancer and was hospitalized on two other occasions that year but is maintaining an active travel schedule that is taking her across the country at least twice this summer.
Estrada said Ginsburg would not be commenting on the evacuation.
Associated Press writers Jessica Gresko, Eric Tucker and Mark Sherman in Washington also contributed to this report.