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Engine fire on British Airways flight described by passengers

LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) -- There was panic and fear among the 157 passengers who were on the jet as it was engulfed by smoke after the engine exploded at McCarran Airport.

British Airways flight 2276 was about to take off when the pilot made a mayday call for help. The left engine was on fire.

"You get going really fast and you're about to lift off when all of a sudden there is this tremendous explosion from behind," said passenger Lethan Dunn.

"Obviously you get that sort of that tension feeling and that concerned feeling, and obviously are looking around to try to work out what's happening," said passenger Dominic Worthington. "Then you look out the left window and you see smoke, you lookout the right window and you see smoke, and so it was pretty scary stuff to be honest."

There were flames and thick smoke, and within minutes the plane was surrounded by the Clark County Fire Department. People on board slid out of the jet from emergency exits.

"Everybody that got off before me -- as soon as they hit the tarmac, they just sprinted because behind us are giant flames," said Dunn.

159 passengers and 13 crew members evacuated using the slides. 13 people reported minor injuries from that evacuation.

"There was a lady with a very young baby not too far from us," Worthington said. "She was immensely brave, taking her baby and stuff off the flight really quickly. Pretty much everyone was trying to help other people."

Passengers say the crew acted quickly to get everyone off the plane and they are still trying to process the frightening situation.

"There were passengers saying 'There's a fire! There's a fire!' and as soon as the crew heard passengers saying there was a fire there was no hesitation from them whatsoever," Worthington said. "The exit doors were open. They were literally in full swing. It was like clockwork for them, to be honest"

The runway was closed, which slowed air traffic at Mccarran, though the airport is now back to normal. Meanwhile, the passengers are still processing what happened to them.

"I felt lucky the minute I landed, you know, on the ground, and I feel very lucky right now," said Dunn. "There was a pilot in the lobby when I checked in and he said 'Well, think about it this way: the chances of you ever having plane trouble again are one in a billion.'" said Dunn. "So I think I'm a pretty safe person to fly with."

Passengers were taken to hotels for the night. The cause of the fire is under investigation.



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