(CNN) — As his plane made a rapid descent to normalize cabin pressure, a Southwest Airlines pilot went on the plane’s loudspeaker and apparently told passengers the aircraft was going down.
“At first it sounded like someone was coming over the PA to talk. Then it sounded like shots through the cabin, twice, back to back,” passenger Grace Stroud told CNN. “Seconds later, the panicked captain said, ‘We’re in trouble; we’re going down.'”
“He said, ‘We’re going down.’ And everyone is looking around like, ‘Is this a joke? Is he serious?’ And then you felt the nosedive.”
Soon after, the Boeing 737 leveled out and made an emergency landing at the Raleigh airport.
Asked about the WTVD report, a Southwest spokeswoman said it was inaccurate.
“Our pilot said he was descending to 10,000 feet. The report was not accurate from this customer. We landed safely,” spokeswoman Whitney Eichinger told CNN.
But in an e-mail the airline sent Stroud, it acknowledged what Stroud suspected may have happened.
“As the captain was communicating his plan with the flight attendants, he inadvertently activated the PA system in the cabin,” the e-mail said. “We sincerely regret any confusion caused by the relay of the information.”