Passengers escape fireball on London-bound BA jet at Las Vegas


14 hospitalised after escape using inflatable slides

A British Airways plane bound for London Gatwick was evacuated after an engine caught fire before the plane took off from Las Vegas.

The fire engulfed one side of the plane sending huge flames up the side of the fuselage and forcing the 172 passengers to flee using emergency slides.

All those on board the Boeing 777-200 escaped the plane, and fire crews extinguished the fire in less than 15 minutes.

Of the 172 passengers, 14 were taken to hospital with injuries.

The Guardian’s Jacob Steinberg, who was on board the plane said: “We looked out the window and for the first time saw smoke near the wing. We could smell it. It was like burning rubber – bitter and deeply unpleasant – and it was time to panic.”

The pilot later informed passengers the accident was the result of a “catastrophic failure of the engine”, Steinberg added.


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