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Photo: Tiffany Breen/Instagram via USA Today

Plane catches fire on runway at Florida airport

Passengers were forced to evacuate a Dynamic International Airways’ Boeing 767 taxied for departure to Venezuela Thursday after the plane’s engine apparently caught fire on the tarmac at an airport in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The pilot of the aircraft behind the Dynamic International Airways Flight 405 reported that there was fuel leaking from the aircraft just before it caught fire. The Federal Aviation Administration also said that the plane experienced a fuel leak before takeoff.

Passengers were evacuated using slides that led them onto the runaway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport around 12:45 p.m., according to the agency.

The Broward County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a Twitter post that there were “several injuries” after the engine caught fire. USA Today reports that Broward Sheriff’s Fire Rescue said 14 people were injured and at least three were transported to nearby hospitals.

“It appears that most of the injuries are not serious. There is one that we call a ‘red,’ which is potentially serious, the rest all seem to be less serious,” a spokesman for Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Mike Jachles, said. “We’re still evaluating additional patients, and there may be some more people that will be transported,” he added.

Officials were attempting to figure out if the injuries were actually from the fire or from the evacuation process.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport spokesman Allan Siegel said that the incident occurred on the airport’s north runway, one of the two at the airport. He also said that the airport has been closed. Departing flights are on hold and arriving flights are being diverted to other airports.

“We are going to reopen as soon as possible,” Siegel said.

Dynamic International Airways made an official statement claiming the crew was aware of the engine issue while they were taxiing for departure.

“The crew followed the emergency procedures, shut down the engine and evacuated the aircraft in order to assure safety to all on board,” the statement said. “The company is conducting an initial investigation and will issue further information once available.”

The National Transportation Safety Board is also sending a team to investigate the fire, along with representatives from FAA, Pratt & Whitney and Boeing.

About Meredith Rodefer

Meredith Rodefer
Meredith Rodefer is a freelance writer, who focuses on anything from lifestyle blogging to hard news, and dancer. Beyond Youth Independent, she has written for sites such as Natmonitor.com, CheekyChicago.com and FamilyFocusBlog.com. Contact Meredith: meredith.rodefer@youthindependent.com