Houston: All 172 people on board a British Airways plane had a miraculous escape on Wednesday after an engine of the aircraft burst into flames on the runway just before taking off from Las Vegas to London.
The left engine of 257-seat Boeing 777 burst into flames on the runway at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas shortly after 0430 IST while it was about to depart for London's Gatwick Airport with 159 passengers and 13 crew members on board, according to the airport authorities.
Heavy 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, as per PTI.
After firefighters extinguished the flames, emergency vehicles could be seen surrounding the aircraft which was left a sooty gray from the smoke and fire retardant.
Las Vegas' airport is the ninth-busiest in the US and had nearly 43 million passengers last year.
Watch how the passengers escaped from the burning plane: (Video courtesy - Twitter)
— Paul Berberian (@pberberian) September 8, 2015
Video of the aftermath here pic.twitter.com/3Uxnmz0ltr
— Jacob Steinberg (@JacobSteinberg) September 9, 2015
(With PTI inputs)