JetBlue Plane Catches Fire Landing; 15 Injured

An emergency worker looks out from a JetBlue Airbus that was evacuated after blowing four tires and catching fire while landing at Sacramento International Airport in California Aug. 26, 2010.
CBS
Updated at 7:31 p.m. ET

Fifteen people have been injured after a JetBlue Airbus made a hard landing in California, blowing four tires and catching fire, sparking an evacuation from the plane at Sacramento International Airport Thursday afternoon, CBS News Station KOVR-TV reports.

(Scroll down to watch reports from CBS News Station KOVR-TV in Sacramento)

The Airbus A320 landed just before 4 p.m. Eastern at the airport. A fire then broke out, and the crew deployed the emergency slides to evacuate the plane.

A passenger who was on the plane told KOVR-TV that when it landed he heard a bang and then the plane stopped suddenly.

"We were then told to start evacuating very abruptly, you know 'Get out! Get out! Get out!'" said the passenger, who identified himself as Elvis. "I looked back under the plane, and it was on fire, and all four tires were out."

Passenger Michelle McDuffie said people onboard felt a thud when the plane touched down after a flight from Long Beach, but nobody thought there was an emergency until the crew shouted for everyone to exit on the inflatable slides.

McDuffie saw the burning tires when she was on the ground.

"I thought, Oh I wish I had gotten my bag off. But I was just happy that I wasn't hurt," said McDuffie, 33, of Mission Viejo.

The plane appeared to experience trouble with its brakes, the airline said in a statement.

The 87 passengers were taken to the terminal by buses, said airport spokeswoman Gina Swankie.

The nature of the injuries weren't immediately available, but five people were taken to a hospital, Swankie said. An elderly woman was seen being loaded onto a stretcher, complaining of neck pains.

The fire was quickly extinguished. Emergency crews have set-up a triage area to treat injured passengers. Fifteen people have been reported injured.

Everyone was "able to slide down that slide and walk over to our triage," Sacramento Fire Department Capt. Jonathan Burgess said.

Rob Vanatta, 32, was waiting for the Jetblue flight when someone announced on the terminal intercom that it was delayed.

"Then they came back on the intercom, sounding surprised or in shock, and said 'I'm not sure how to tell you this, but the wheels caught fire upon landing and the emergency slides had been deployed,"' Vanatta said.

Vanatta ran to the window to see what happened and saw passengers standing on the runway near the plane, surrounded by fire trucks.

"My friend and I were able to rebook to a flight out of Oakland, so we're driving there now," he said.

The incident was being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.

An incident command center was set up for the passengers. They are being told their luggage will not be available for 24 hours.

Family and friends of the passengers who would like to contact JetBlue with questions can do so by calling 1-800-JetBlue.

Local Video from CBS13 in Sacramento



Local Video from CBS13 in Sacramento