Officials said on Thursday a jet plane’s engine caught fire as it prepared for takeoff, and passengers had to quickly evacuate using emergency slides. Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said one person was seriously injured by burns that were not life-threatening and about a dozen other people were taken to the hospital for minor injuries including bumps, sprains and stress.
In video footage dozens of passengers could be seen in gliding down the slides and running away from the plane to the terminal as fire crews rushed to put the blaze out. Jachles said that there were a total of 110 passengers and crew onboard the flight departing Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport.
The Boeing 767’s left engine caught fire as it taxied for takeoff to Caracas, Venezuela. Passengers on another plane on the runway recorded the fire and posted video to Twitter showing plumes of thick black smoke coming from the plane.
A pilot in an aircraft behind the Dynamic Airways plane and an air traffic controller reported fuel leaking from it before the fire. Broward Aviation Department spokesman Allan Siegeo said the fire was extinguished by rescue teams on site.
The airport closed briefly after the fire but had reopened that same Thursday afternoon. Dynamic said on its website its Boeing 767s can accommodate up to 250 people and that it’s a 5-year-old airline that connects Fort Lauderdale, New York, Venezuela and Guyana.
For Venezuelans hoping to travel abroad, the options have been severely reduced to little-known carries such as Dynamic or domestic carriers, which due to the country’s economic crisis, have struggled to import replacement parts. The National Transportation Safety Board was sending a four-person team to Fort Lauderdale to investigate the fire.
Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration, engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, Boeing and Dynamic will also take part.
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