British Airways flight evacuated after engine fire on Las Vegas runway, 14 … – Fox News
An engine failure on a Las Vegas-to-London British Airways jet Tuesday resulted in a fire that forced the evacuation of the plane and resulted in 14 minor injuries.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesman Ian Gregor said the Boeing 777-200’s left engine caught fire while it was preparing to take off from McCarren Airport. A plume of black smoke could be seen billowing into the sky but firefighters quickly doused the aircraft with fire retardant..
McCarren Airport said the incident involved British Airways Flight 2276, which was headed to London’s Gatwick Airport. All 159 passengers and 13 crew members aboard the flight were able to get off the plane, McCarran International Airport spokesman Chris Jones said.
Fire officials said the injured were taken to Sunrise Hospital for minor injuries, most occurring as a result of sliding down the inflatable chutes to escape.
Sky News reported that the plane’s pilot can be heard on an audio recording calmly asking for fire crews before telling air traffic control: “We are evacuating on the runway. We have a fire, I repeat, we are evacuating.”
Firefighters stationed at the airport reached the plane two minutes after getting reports of flames, and within another three minutes, everyone inside the plane had escaped. Sky News reported that approximately 50 firefighters responded to the blaze.
After firefighters extinguished the flames, emergency vehicles could be seen surrounding the aircraft, which was left a sooty gray from the smoke and fire retardant. Clark County Deputy Fire Chief Jon Klassen told the Associated Press the cause of the fire wasn’t clear yet, but it didn’t appear to breach the cabin.
Reggie Bügmüncher, of Philadelphia, said she was charging her phone and waiting at a gate for her flight when she heard people saying, “Oh, my God.” She looked out the window and could see “bursts of flames coming out of the middle of the plane.”
“Everyone ran to the windows and people were standing on their chairs, looking out, holding their breath with their hands over their mouths,” Bügmüncher said.
The plane’s emergency slides were deployed a few moments later and passengers quickly got off the plane. She said it was a “bit more orderly” than she would have expected given the dramatic nature of the fire and smoke.
British Airways spokeswoman Caroline Titmuss didn’t answer questions about Tuesday’s fire in an email exchange but said “safety is always our priority.”
Titmuss said in an email that the airline was “looking after customers” but didn’t elaborate. She said the airline would release more information later.
The FAA delayed flights to Las Vegas from some airports for more than two hours after the fire to slow the flow of planes, while the disabled plane made two of the airport’s four runways inaccessible. One of the runways reopened about 2 1/2 hours after the fire.
The Boeing 777-200, popular with airlines for its fuel efficiency for long-haul flights, has been involved in two fatal crashes in its 21-year history. The first was in July 2013, when three passengers were killed when an Asiana Airlines flight landed short of San Francisco International Airport’s runway. The second was Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared last year and was only recently recovered.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.