Passengers Panic as Plane Catches Fire Before Takeoff

'Everyone's screaming and jumping on top of each other to open the door'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 28, 2016 5:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – Flames and heavy black smoke poured from the side of an American Airlines jet that aborted takeoff and caught fire on the runway at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Friday, forcing 170 crew and passengers to evacuate and resulting in eight injuries, authorities said. According to the AP, pilots on American Airlines Flight 383 bound for Miami reported an engine-related mechanical issue. Seven passengers and a flight attendant were taken to a hospital to be evaluated for minor injuries. Footage from the scene showed the Boeing 767, which appeared to be damaged on its rear and along its right side, sitting on the runway with flames underneath and shooting from one side along with plumes of smoke. The right wing appeared to have partially melted.

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Passengers came down emergency slides, hurrying across grass next to the runway as emergency vehicles surrounded the plane. The passengers were to be placed on another flight to Miami Friday evening. The FAA said in a statement that the plane made an emergency stop around 2:35pm after experiencing a problem during takeoff. An earlier FAA statement said the plane had blown a tire. Passenger Sarah Ahmed says the plane was almost in the air when she heard a loud bang and saw a fire out the window. "The plane comes to a screeching stop," she says. "People are yelling, 'Open the door! Open the door!' Everyone's screaming and jumping on top of each other to open the door." (Read more plane crash stories.)

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