<
>

Marshall football plane evacuated for engine smoke

KENOVA, W.Va. -- A charter plane carrying the Marshall
University football team to a game against East Carolina was
evacuated Friday after smoke was reported in an engine, emergency
officials said.

No injuries were reported among the 200 people aboard, but the
timing was eerie.

Almost 36 years ago, on Nov. 14, 1970, a plane carrying the
Marshall football team home from a game against East Carolina
crashed, killing 75 people, including most of the team. A movie
about the rebuilding of Marshall's football program after that
crash is scheduled to open nationwide on Dec. 22.

Marshall's sports information director at the time, Gene
Morehouse, died in that crash.

On Friday, his son Keith Morehouse was aboard the plane headed
for the game in Greenville, N.C.

Morehouse, now sports director of WSAZ-TV in Huntington, and the
other passengers calmly left the plane Friday and walked into the
terminal. The team's departure was delayed for more than an hour.

"I don't think it's as big a deal as some people are trying to
make," Morehouse said.

Marshall's current sports information director, Randy Burnside,
said it was a mechanical problem with the plane.

"It was a minor thing," Burnside said. "They should have this
fixed. Everybody's fine."

A spokeswoman with the Federal Aviation Administration did not
immediately return a telephone message.