A British Airways plane caught fire while he was preparing to take off from Las Vegas airport Tuesday with 172 people on board were evacuated urgently and seven of them slightly injured.
“There were 159 passengers and 13 crew members on board,” according to the airport’s Twitter account, which said that “seven people were slightly injured.”
However, several local televisions reported a balance of 14 hospitalized with minor injuries, citing firefighters Clark County, Nevada, where Las Vegas airport.
The Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) said in an email to AFP that “the left engine of a Boeing 777 of British Airways caught fire during takeoff from McCarran International airport” Las Vegas in the western United States.
“The crew rejected the takeoff process” of the device that was en route to London Gatwick Airport “and deplaned passengers on the track by dragging them on emergency evacuation slides” , added the spokesman FAA, Ian Gregor.
An AFP photographer found that the device was still on fire on the tarmac but the rest of the airport was operating normally despite the incident.
“We are aware of the incident at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. Our teams are trying to gather more information, “merely commenting on the aircraft manufacturer Boeing on his Twitter account.
For its part, the British company British Airways has just said in an email to AFP: “We take care of our customers after the incident involving the theft BA 2276.”
Engine The manufacturer of the Boeing 777, General Electric, had not reported on the causes of the incident or respond immediately to questions from AFP.
In a recording of the cockpit on the Internet and broadcast on US television, the pilot is meant to call for help: “SOS! SOS! We need firemen! ”
Passengers of BA flight 2276 were put online videos on the Twitter social network like Dominic Worthington: we see a device from which escape columns of black smoke, passengers away from the device quickly.
Many described the chaos on the plane.
Sports journalist of the British newspaper The Guardian was on board the BA 2276 and told on Twitter that he was “asleep at take-off” when the aircraft was taxiing on the runway “was brutally arrested” .
“A lot of panic”
“You could see the smoke and feel the other side of the plane, one person said that the fire had melted two or three windows,” said the journalist, Jacob Steinberg, on the social network.
“They opened the back door and slides were removed and the smoke entered the plane he was followed by a host of forward movement. A lot of panic, “further added JacobSteinberg.
He said that “there are some passengers who had bruises and cuts after slipping on evacuation slides (…) a woman was taken by emergency medical teams but it seemed to go good”.
He also noted that the driver, cheered by passengers, took the floor to announce that the plane had suffered “catastrophic engine failure”.
In 2014, an aircraft of the British company towards Lyon had to return urgently to London’s Heathrow Airport after a witness had seen the engine “spit” flames on takeoff.
According to Richard Aboulafia, aviation expert firm Teal Group, “the 777 remains one of the safest means of transport ever invented. Although we have no details on this incident, there was no significant 777 crash or fire that resulted from machine defects. ”
According to him, neither the company nor the manufacturer should have to suffer “negative consequences of this incident.”