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British Airways Plane Catches Fire on Las Vegas Runway

British Airways plane with 159 passengers and 13 crew members catches fire at Las Vegas.

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Smoke billows out from the plane that caught fire at McCarren International Airport, Tuesday, in Las Vegas. (Photo: AP/Eric Hays)

An engine on a London-bound British Airways jet caught fire on Tuesday while the plane was preparing to take off from Las Vegas, shooting flames from the side of the jumbo jet and forcing passengers to escape on emergency slides.

Billowing black smoke and orange flames could be seen pouring from under the plane’s wings, sending passengers fleeing quickly from the aircraft and across the tarmac before about 50 firefighters doused the aircraft in minutes.

The 159 passengers and 13 crew members on board got off the plane, McCarran International Airport spokesman Chris Jones said. The airport reported on its official Twitter account that two passengers were taken to a hospital for minor injuries. Fire officials said paramedics on the scene were also evaluating some passengers.

The plane’s emergency slides were deployed a few moments later and passengers quickly got off the plane.

Firefighters enter the plane that caught fire at McCarren International Airport Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, in Las Vegas. (Photo: AP)
Firefighters enter the plane that caught fire at McCarren International Airport Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, in Las Vegas. (Photo: AP)

Firefighters stationed at the airport reached the plane two minutes after getting reports of flames, and within another three minutes, everyone inside the plane had escaped.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the plane’s left engine caught fire and an investigation was under way. The National Transportation Safety Board was collecting information about the incident, said Eric Weiss, a spokesman for the agency in Washington.

Clark County Deputy Fire Chief Jon Klassen said the cause of the fire wasn’t clear yet, but the fire didn’t appear to breach the cabin.

One of the airport’s runways was shut down, but operations continued on the other three runways, officials said.

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