A British Airways jet has caught fire at Las Vegas airport this morning after what the pilot has described as a ‘catastrophic failure’ of the left engine.
The plane had commenced take off procedures when the pilot suddenly brought it to a halt and told air traffic control: “Speedbird 2276 heavy, we are evacuating on the runway. We have a fire, repeat, we are evacuating.”
The left engine burst into flames and people were able to escape down a slide.
Photos from passengers are now being shared online.
Guardian reporter Jacob Steinberg was on the plane and tweeted about the evacuation.
Video of the aftermath here pic.twitter.com/3Uxnmz0ltr
— Jacob Steinberg (@JacobSteinberg) September 9, 2015
Other passengers have said they could smell smoke on the other side of the plane prior to take off and that fire started to melt windows.
Steinberg reported that the pilot came to talk to the evacuated passengers after the incident. He told them immediately that it was a “catastrophic failure of the engine.” The pilot was applauded by the passengers for his fast response to the emergency.
Overall, there were 159 passengers and 13 crew on board. Seven people have been treated for minor injuries from the fire, which was quickly extinguished by firefighters.
Hear audio of the pilot calling in the emergency: