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British Airways plane catches fire just before take-off

A British Airways plane was about to take off at the runway of the Las Vegas airport when its engine suddenly caught fire.

The left engine had suffered from "catastrophic failure".

Thick, black smoke engulfed the plane as its pilot made the immediate decision to abort the flight.

The 159 passengers and 13 crew members aboard the Boeing 777-200 jet were evacuated soon after.

The fire was eventually put out by 50 firefighters.

Fire officials said 14 people were taken to the hospital to be treated for minor injuries, including cuts and bruises, mostly resulting from sliding down the inflatable chutes to escape, according to The Guardian.

Mirror UK reported that the pilot's quick thinking had saved all those on board.

According to CNN, it is not known why the plane, which was bound for Gatwick Airport in London, UK, had suddenly burst into flames.

An airport spokesman told Guardian: "All passengers were evacuated quickly and safely and taken by bus to the terminal.

"We cannot express enough gratitude to the emergency response crews, as well as the British Airways crew.”

 Guardian reporter Jacob Steinberg who was on the plane, tweeted about the evacuation.

 

 

He wrote: “Just evacuated on a British Airways flight at Las Vegas airport after an engine caught fire. Don't think anyone hurt.

“Was asleep as the plane took off. Came to a crashing halt. Smell of smoke. Initially told to stay seated, then shout of evacuate.

“Could smell and see smoke but was on other side of plane. One person said fire melted a couple of windows.

“They opened the back door and slide went down and smoke started coming in plane, followed by mad dash to front.

"A lot of panic.”

The airport spokesman said that the National Transportation Safety Board is still investigating the incident.

Passengers from other planes described the chaotic situation that had unfolded before their eyes.

 

 

Source: The Guardian, CNN, Mirror UK

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