Thursday, September 10, 2015

Update on British Airways 777 fire

Investigators looking into why a British Airways Boeing 777 suffered an engine fire on takeoff from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) on Sept. 8 are looking at the possibility of a ruptured fuel line and whether fire suppression equipment functioned properly.

File photo, British Airways jet
According to CNN, a source close to the investigation says investigators are looking closely at both possibilities. The source says the aircraft's fire suppression was deployed but failed to extinguish the flames, which may have erupted when a fuel line ruptured.

The incident occurred at about 4 p.m. PDT Sept. 8 as Flight 2276, a 275-seat Boeing (NYSE:BA) 777-200 was taking off from LAS to London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW). Passengers reported hearing a loud bang from the left side of the aircraft, followed by smoke and flames.

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 24 people were treated for minor injuries and released from a local hospital. As is often the case in emergency evacuations, passengers sustained those injuries sliding down the inflatable slides rather than as a result of the incident that led to the evacuation of the aircraft.

British Airways provided timely statements and a friends and family number of  1-800-654-3246 shortly after the incident. However, subsequent posts via its Twitter feed purporting to provide "the very latest information" included links that led to a portion of its site that requires registration. When TheTravelPro attempted to register, we encountered technical issues that prevented that registration and are therefore unable to include a current update from B/A.

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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