Wednesday, September 9, 2015

UPDATE: British Airways jet catches fire on take-off from Las Vegas

THIS SEPT 9 POST UPDATES THE ORIGINAL REPORT PUBLISHED SEPT. 8.

A British Airways Boeing 777 suffered an engine malfunction on takeoff from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) on Sept. 8. According to NBCNews.com, 20 people were treated and released from local hospitals for what a fire official called "minor injuries," most of which came as passengers slid down the inflatable evacuation chutes.

File photo, British Airways jet
The incident occurred at about 4 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time as Flight 2276, a 275-seat Boeing (NYSE:BA) 777-200 from LAS to London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW) was on its takeoff roll when there was a loud bang from the left side of the aircraft, according to passenger accounts. Initial reports said the plane had been taxiing out for takeoff.

According to the airport’s Twitter feed (@LASairport), “There were 159 passengers and 13 crew on the flight. Two were transported for minor injuries.” Updated figures show as many as 20 people were treated for minor injuries. It is often the case in emergency evacuations that passengers sustain such injuries sliding down the inflatable slides.

British Airways provided the following statement to TheTravelPro:

"The aircraft, a 777-200 experienced a technical issue as it was preparing for take-off from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Our crew evacuated the aircraft safely and the fire was quickly extinguished by the emergency services at the airport." 

"157 customers were on board the flight, along with three pilots and 10 cabin crew."

"A small number of customers and our crew were taken to hospital. All customers have been provided with hotel accommodation, and our colleagues are helping them with anything further they require. Family and friends can call 1-800 654 3246. We will provide any further updates on ba.com."

For its part, Boeing said it was "[P]repared to provide technical assistance to the NTSB following [Tuesday's] incident at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas." Investigations are underway by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), among others.

According to published reports, the plane was equipped with engines manufactured by General Electric (NYSE:GE).

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Photo courtesy British Airways
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