Courtney Zubowski, Michelle Homer, Mark Greenblatt
khou 11 News 
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
HOUSTON — A Continental Airlines flight carrying seven members of Congress from Houston to Washington was forced to make an emergency landing after it lost cabin pressure Tuesday afternoon.
Flight 458 was bound for Reagan National Airport, but was diverted and landed safely in New Orleans, a spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Ted Poe told 11 News.
Poe and fellow Texas Congressmen Nick Lampson, Ron Paul, John Carter, Ciro Rodriguez, Solomon Ortiz and Henry Cuellar were aboard the flight, said Poe’s press secretary DeeAnn Thigpen.
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Ironically, the seven congressmen were trying to get back in time for a Tuesday night vote on an aviation safety bill, a spokesman for one of the representatives said.
There were 118 people total aboard the plane, Continental spokeswoman Julie King said.
No one was hurt.
Continental Airlines said the problem was caused by a sudden loss in cabin pressure.
Trevor Kincaid, a spokesman for passenger and Rep. Nick Lampson, said his boss told him “there was absolutely no panic on the plane.” Lampson told Kincaid the plane’s oxygen masks dropped down.
“Continental Airline’s personnel and staff were exceptional; executing what seemed to me a textbook performance in emergency procedure. I was very impressed,” Lampson said in a release.