FIERY TAKEOFF BA engine fire on runway at LAS
Posted on 09/09/2015 | About Las Vegas, Nevada
A British Airways flight bound for London Gatwick was taxiing on the tarmac at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas on Tuesday night when passengers described a loud bang, and the increasing heat from the fire near the windows. The left engine had caught fire after a catastrophic failure.
The British Airways pilot averted disaster by bringing the accelerating aircraft from 90mph to a standstill in just nine seconds. He is being credited with saving the lives of everyone on board.
In a mayday call to the control tower, the pilot remained calm asking for 'fire services' and then informing the tower 'we are evacuating'.
The passengers and crew exited the plane, which was still in the middle of the runway,
Fourteen people were then taken to hospital for treatment - many suffering from suspected smoke inhalation while others were hurt when they evacuated.
Travellers on other flights captured the plumes of smoke coming from the Boeing 777 as those on board were forced to jump down the evacuation slides and run away from the blaze.
It is not yet known what caused the fire but images appear to show it coming from the engine. The runway was closed but flights continued to depart on remaining runways.
In a statement British Airways said: “The safety of our customers and crew is always our priority and we are looking after those who were on board the BA2276 from Las Vegas to London Gatwick following an incident on Tuesday September 8, 2015.
“The aircraft, a 777-200 experienced a technical issue as it was preparing for take-off from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.
“Our crew evacuated the aircraft safely and the fire was quickly extinguished by the emergency services at the airport.
“157 customers were on board the flight, along with three pilots and 10 cabin crew. A small number of customers and our crew were taken to hospital.
“All customers have been provided with hotel accommodation, and our colleagues are helping them with anything further they require.”
A spokesman from Boeing said they were looking into the incident.
Pictures of passengers walking along the runway with their carry-on bags typically engendered comment and criticism on social media, including this from safety expert Thomas Pitts tweeted, “Woke up to the news of the engine fire on that BA flight in Vegas. But yet again people are taking their bags whilst evacuating! Idiots!”