777 Catches Fire at Las Vegas Airport

14 people injured escaping British Airways plane
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 9, 2015 2:28 AM CDT
Updated Sep 9, 2015 6:00 AM CDT
Casinos along the Las Vegas Strip can be seen behind a plane that caught fire at McCarran International Airport yesterday.   (John Locher)
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(Newser) – An engine on a London-bound British Airways jet caught fire yesterday while the plane was preparing to take off from Las Vegas, shooting flames from the side of the jet and forcing passengers to escape on emergency slides. Billowing black smoke and orange flames could be seen pouring from under the plane's wings, sending passengers fleeing quickly from the aircraft and across the tarmac before about 50 firefighters doused the aircraft in minutes. Fire officials say 14 people were taken to Sunrise Hospital for minor injuries, most a result of sliding down the inflatable chutes to escape the Boeing 777.

British Airways says 157 were on board Flight 2276 in addition to 10 crew members and three pilots when the engine caught fire. As smoke came into the plane and passengers moved toward the back, "even the flight attendant was screaming at us to run," writes Jacob Steinberg at the Guardian. "My fear was that we would not get out, even though I could see outside." He says the pilot was able to hit the brakes just in time when fire broke out, probably saving the lives of everybody on board. The Federal Aviation Administration delayed flights to Las Vegas from some airports for more than two hours after the fire to slow the flow of planes while the disabled plane made two of the airport's four runways inaccessible.

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