An engine on a passenger jet bound for Caracas, Venezuela, burst into flames while taxiing for takeoff at a Florida airport on Thursday, officials said, and several people were injured as they exited the plane using emergency slides.
Television images showed the Dynamic International Airways’ Boeing 767-200ER surrounded by white foam and firefighters’ trucks in Fort Lauderdale, its inflatable evacuation chutes deployed. The aircraft was leaking fuel before departure, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
In video shot by a passenger on another plane, thick gray smoke could be seen pouring from the flight before the blaze was extinguished.
Fifteen people were taken to the hospital, one with serious burn wounds and two with less serious injuries, Michael Jachles, a spokesman for Broward Sheriff’s Office, told reporters.
The other injuries appeared to be bumps and bruises, he said, adding that 101 people, including crew, had been on board.
One child was among those being treated at Broward Health Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Luis Campana, a 71-year-old rancher, was traveling to Venezuela’s Guarico state with his wife and sister from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
“It was a real scare,” Campana told Reuters, adding that he had been sitting near the front of the plane as the pilot put the thrust on to taxi up the runway.
“The engine exploded. As we were getting out of the plane down the chute, the smoke was beginning to enter and the engine was in flames,” he said.
Campana said he did not see any injured people.