UPDATE: An Allegiant Air flight was forced to make an emergency landing Thursday morning at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport with reported engine problems.

Emergency crews from the airport and the Chattanooga Fire Department scrambled to prepare for the emergency landing.

The plane was able to land safely at the airport. There were 156 passengers plus crew members aboard the MD-80 aircraft.

Passengers tell Channel 3 they heard a loud pop after about an hour in the air and almost halfway through the flight. One passenger says after a few minutes the pilot announced they would be landing in Chattanooga.

The plane left Orlando Sanford International Airport Thursday morning, bound for Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Allegiant is sending in another plane at noon to fly the passengers to Cedar Rapids.

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Passengers were taken inside the airport and their luggage was taken off the plane. Current plans are to fly them to their intended destination of Cedar Rapids on a replacement aircraft, scheduled to depart midday.

Allegiant Air's Media Relations Department responded to Channel 3's inquiry about Thursday's emergency landing with the following statement:
Flight 760 with scheduled service from Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) to Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids (CID) departed SFB at 6:23 a.m. local time. The aircraft experienced an issue with its right engine and diverted to Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport (CHA) out of an abundance of caution. The aircraft landed safely at approximately 8:02 a.m. local time. There were 150 passengers and six crew members on board. 
The aircraft has been taken out of service and will be thoroughly inspected to determine the cause.
Passengers have deplaned and a replacement aircraft is en route to carry passengers on to CID. The current scheduled time of departure is 12:44 p.m. Passengers who choose not to travel will receive a refund. Passengers are also being offered $100 dollars off vouchers for future travel and the option to change their current reservation to another flight in our system.