Tuesday September 8th a Las Vegas airline caught fire on the runway and sent 13 people to hospital with injuries. The fire occurred around 4 pm and was caused by the left engine catching on fire which inevitably stopped the plane from taking off. It was bound for London’s Gatwick Airport.
Passengers said that they were getting ready for take off when a loud bang could be heard. One passenger on board rolled up his window cover and saw the engine completely engulfed in flames.
CNN “Plane catches fire on Las Vegas runway” Youtube. 9 September 2015.
After a few moments the captain spoke through the intercom letting passengers know that there was a problem and that they needed to evacuate the plane immediately. Crew began a safe evacuation but when they opened one of the emergency doors smoke filed into the room and made people fearful. Finally the flight attendants managed to get everyone out to safety, leaving only 13 of the 162 people on board injured.
Most of the injuries sustained however were from the emergency slide, not the initial explosion. Many had cuts and bruises but were okay for the most part. One woman was taken away to hospital but it was reported that she did not seem too distressed at her departure.
Thankfully the fire was put out in a matter of seconds. Paul Berberian, a man who a recently landed at the airport and watched the scene unfold, said that fire vehicles were there in as little as 90 seconds and as late as 2 minutes. Everything unfolded and ended very quickly. Passersby admired how quickly and efficiently people got out of the situation. 5 seconds after the emergency slides were opened up people were already sliding down.
Within the hour inspectors were on the scene examining the aircraft to see what exactly went wrong. Caroline Titmuss, a spokesperson for the airline, said that safety is their number one priority and that they are now looking after all the passengers from the incident involving Flight BA2276.