CHICAGO -- An American Airlines plane caught fire before taking off at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, forcing passengers to evacuate onto the runway and causing several injuries.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Tony Molinaro initially said no one was hurt but later said minor injuries were reported. He could not give an exact number. In a statement, American Airlines said seven passengers and one crew member reported minor injuries and were transported to the hospital for evaluation. There were 161 passengers and 9 crew members on board, the airline confirmed.
Molinaro says the pilot aborted takeoff and everyone evacuated. Television reports and social media video showed a large plume of black smoke coming from the Boeing 767.
American Airlines said in a statement that takeoff was aborted due to “engine-related mechanical issue.” The airline said it will re-accommodate passengers on another flight to Miami on Friday evening.
The FAA and the NTSB are investigating the incident, both agencies said.
Television reports showed a large plume of black smoke coming from the Boeing 767, which appeared to be damaged at the rear. Evacuation chutes extended from the plane.
Chicago fire officials said on the department’s Twitter account that there was an extra-alarm emergency response at the airport for an “aircraft down.”
An NTSB spokesman said the board is aware of the incident but hasn’t made a decision on whether to investigate.