Cockpit smoke forces Alaska Airlines jet to return to D.C.

WASHINGTON — A flight headed to Seattle on Monday from Reagan National Airport had to make an emergency landing at nearby Dulles International Airport after its pilots reported smoke in the cockpit.

Alaska Airlines spokesman Cole Cosgrove says the flight had just taken off around 10:22 a.m. when the pilots "noticed indications of smoke" in the cockpit. The plane landed at Dulles at 10:38 a.m.

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokesman Chris Paolino says six people were taken to the hospital. He says they were all members of the plane's crew.

The Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 was carrying 161 passengers, all of whom were evacuated safely.

Officials say the passengers were rebooked on other flights.

Authorities say the cause of the incident remains under investigation.

A Seattle-to-Spokane Alaska Airlines flight landed in December due to smoke in the cabin, and a flight from New Jersey to Seattle set down after smoke was spotted coming from a credit-card reader in the plane's galley.

Alaska Dispatch News reporter Chris Klint contributed to this article.