American Airlines Jet Catches Fire At O'Hare Airport, Video Shows Passengers Fleeing
CHICAGO (CBS) -- A fire broke out on an American Airlines plane bound for Miami at O'Hare Airport on Friday.
According to the airline, an engine malfunction on the Boeing 767 caused the fire and all passengers were evacuated safely. The FAA said in a statement that the plane blew a tire while taking off from runway around 2:35 p.m. and aborted the takeoff.
Flight 383 had 161 passengers and nine crew on board. There is a ground stop at the airport. The plane was located on runway 28R.
"Scariest part for me was seeing the fire, seeing the smoke and actually thinking we might not get out of here," said passenger Peter McLoyd.
Twenty people suffered minor injuries while evacuating and were treated at three different hospitals, officials said. The Chicago Fire Department was on scene within two minutes and quickly extinguished the fire, officials said.
The plane came to a stop about midway down the runway. A Chicago Fire Department official acknowledged that the incident could have become catastrophic if it weren't for the quick actions of the crew and air traffic control.
"The flight crew did an outstanding job of bringing the aircraft to a halt," said Timothy Sampey, the Chicago Fire Department's chief of airport operations.
"There was substantial fuel leak on the aircraft."
Video on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook showed passengers leaving the plane.
Video from another plane shows heavy black smoke and flames.
The Chicago Fire Department said it was not part of a drill.
American Airlines communications spokeswoman Leslie Scott told CNN:
"American Airlines flight 383, a 767 bound for Miami, aborted take off due to an engine-related mechanical issue.
"The 161 passengers and 9 crew deplaned on the runway and buses are enroute to pick up the passengers and bring them back to the terminal."
A dog was also rescued.
According to Ian Petchenik, spokesman for Flightradar24, the Boeing 767-300ER is powered by two CF6-80C2B6 enegines. It was deliverd in 2003.
In 2012, another American Airlines 767 with the same GE engines caught fire on takeoff from Kennedy Airport in New York.
Passengers were given the option be be rebooked on another flight without their belongings.
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