The left engine of a Boeing 777-200 jet caught fire during takeoff from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas on Tuesday afternoon, sending a huge plume of smoke into the air as the plane was evacuated using emergency slides. All 159 passengers and 13 crew members made it off the flight, and only two passengers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
London-bound British Airways Flight 2276 caught fire at 4:14 p.m. Passenger Jacob Steinberg tweeted that he was sleeping during takeoff and felt the plane jerk to a stop. Initially passengers were told to remain seated, then the crew shouted to evacuate.
The entire plane was evacuated and firefighters extinguished the fire in under five minutes. “Three large fire trucks, they were just dousing that side of the aircraft with water to put out the fire,” Paul Berberian, who had just landed on another flight, told CNN. “It was very quick.”
The cause of the fire is unknown, and Boeing, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Transportation Safety Board are reviewing the incident. “Safety is always our priority. We are looking after customers after a technical issue with the aircraft,” British Airways said in a statement.