27 people were injured when an engine on a crowded British Airways plane burst into flames on Tuesday, just as the crew was preparing to take off at the airport in Las Vegas.
The captain of the airliner has been praised for his professional handling of the emergency.
“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.
Passengers were evacuated from the twin-engine, wide-body jet to the runway using emergency slides, officials said.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the aircraft’s left engine caught fire, prompting the crew to abort the takeoff. As for the cause of the Las Vegas plane fire, authorities have not released any details on that front as of yet.
The male pilot – who had a British accent – spoke calmly as he said: “Mayday, mayday, Speedbird 2276 request fire services”.
All 172 people aboard the plane, bound for London’s Gatwick airport, were evacuated from the smoke-engulfed aircraft.
Passenger Jacob Steinberg told The Guardian that he and his fellow travellers applauded the pilot when he made his appearance from the plane.
Boeing said it will work with the National Transportation Safety Board to determine the cause of the fire.
As British Airways Flight 2276 was hurtling down the runway at McCarran worldwide Airport today on its way to London, passenger Roy Dunk heard what he thought was a tire blow out.
An audio recording which appears to be of the conversation between the pilot and air traffic control, shows how the emergency was dealt with. He lifted the window shade and saw the trouble.
Another passenger Jay Jennings, from Southampton, said the experience was “pretty scary”.
“It added: “@LASairport had the fire out and all passengers off BA flight by 4:18 PM – excellent work by our ARFF team”.
“Everything was fine before takeoff, other than we just seemed to be on the runway for longer than usual”, a passenger from Newcastle told The Mirror.
Las Vegas’ airport is the ninth-busiest in the USA and had almost 43 million passengers a year ago . McCarran Airport confirmed two of the aboard people were transported for minor injuries.
British Airways said in a statement, “Our crew evacuated the aircraft safely and the fire was quickly extinguished by the emergency services at the airport”.