747 Evacuated by Slides on Phoenix Runway

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 11, 2009 6:01 AM CDT
Hundreds of people were evacuated from a British Airways 747 at Phoenix Airport last night after smoke was reported in the cabin.   (AP Photo/ Max Nash)

(Newser) – Hundreds of passengers on a British Airways 747 flight to London used slides to evacuate the plane last night on the Phoenix Airport runway, the AP reports. The jumbo jet had just pushed back from the gate when smoke and an acrid odor was reported in the cabin. By the time fire crews arrived, 298 passengers and 18 crew were already on the tarmac.

Fire crews found light smoke in the cabin and in the cargo compartment, but no fire was discovered. No official cause has been determined, but fire crews on the scene suspected an electrical problem was to blame. About 15 people were evaluated for minor scrapes and bruises; passengers were put up overnight while they awaited a replacement plane.