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Flight To Boston Evacuated After Engine Catches Fire During Takeoff At Midway

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Passengers on a Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago to Boston had a frightening ordeal Wednesday night, after an engine caught fire during takeoff.

Pilots of Southwest Flight 3299 aborted takeoff around 10:45 p.m. A passenger was recording on cell phone as sparks erupted from the engine while the jet was speeding down the runway at Midway International Airport.

The plane had barely lifted off the ground when the crew spotted the problem and halted takeoff.

The Chicago Fire Department responded with several fire trucks, and a half dozen ambulances.

"We were literally going to take off, and then it just went off, and so then we pulled over, and all these fire trucks and stuff came over, and it was crazy," one woman who was on the flight said. "I was actually freaking out, because I don't like flying that much anyway, and then I just saw that go off. I was, like, I thought I was going to die."

The plane was evacuated. None of the 143 passengers or five crew members was injured, but passengers were delayed nearly three hours, as Southwest brought in another plane to fly them to Boston.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Midway Flight
A Southwest Airlines jet sits on the tarmac at Midway International Airport, after an engine caught fire during takeoff, prompting pilots to abort the flight, and evacuate the plane. (Credit: CBS)
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