Billowing black smoke and red-orange flames poured from a British Airways plane in Las Vegas that 172 people rushed to evacuate Tuesday afternoon.
McCarran Airport posted details stating that the Clark County Fire Department and airport received a first call on the fire at 4:13 p.m. Flames were said to have appeared at 4:14 p.m. at the same time a response was in progress.
According to McCarran all passengers had evacuated the plane and the fire was out by 4:18 p.m. The airport later posted, “There were 159 passengers and 13 crew on the flight.”
Plane passenger and Guardian reporter Jacob Steinberg stated, ” A few people started running down the plane from the back, a few people stood up, and the staff were all saying, “Keep seated,” reassuring people. But I don’t think they’d realised what was happening.”
After looking around and smelling smoke Steinberg recalls, “the stewards told us to evacuate – that sparked a lot of panic. I went to the back of the plane, they had opened it up and put down the slide. One of my friends went down towards it and loads of smoke started coming in. The cabin attendant was trying to make people go out that way, and when she realised there was smoke coming in there was a look of panic on her face.”
Video of the aftermath here pic.twitter.com/3Uxnmz0ltr
— Jacob Steinberg (@JacobSteinberg) September 9, 2015
Other passengers called the evacuation a “mad dash” according to Express News. The pilot indicated that the left engine experienced “catastrophic failure” causing the smoke and flames. The cause of the fire had yet to be confirmed as of Tuesday afternoon.
Just after 4 p.m. McCarran Airport posted, “Incident @LASairport involved British Airways outbound flight 2276, bound for London Gatwick. Fire has been put out.” A post directly after identified the plane as a, “275-seat B777-200.”
About 5 p.m. McCarran Airport posted a photo of the aircraft as proof that the fire had been extinguished. A post in the 8 p.m. hour indicated the affected runway had been cleared and was expected to open later that night.
By Tuesday evening fire officials were saying 14 people had been injured according to Express News. Evacuated passengers were transported to the airport terminal following the fire. An airport spokeswoman told reporters at an evening press conference that the National Transportation Safety Board would be investigating the incident.
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