One person suffered serious burn injuries Thursday when an engine on a Dynamic Airways plane was set ablaze as it was taxiing for takeoff at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport.
Of the 15 people who were taken to the Broward Health Medical Center, three sustained serious injuries while 12 suffered bumps and bruises. The evacuation of 101 people aboard, including passengers and crew, occurred within minutes. The plane’s left engine caught fire, but was doused quickly.
The first call of the fire was received shortly after 12:30 p.m. Dynamic International Airways Flight 405, which was on Taxiway B when it burst into flames, was bound for Caracas, Venezuela, as reported by Miami Herald. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said that the plane was already leaking before departure. The crews had also been informed about the leak by a jet that was behind the plane.
A passenger on another plane captured a video of the smoke bellowing from the Dynamic flight.
Michael Jachles, a spokesman for the Broward Sheriff’s Office, said most of the injuries reported were bumps and bruises. Of those injured being treated at Broward Health Medical Center was a child, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
Luis Campana, 71, was aboard the Dynamic flight when the engine caught fire. He, his wife and sister were traveling to Venezuela. “It was a real scare,” he said. He had been sitting near the front of the plane. “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.
In a statement, the FAA suggested that an engine leak could have caused the incident. “At about 12:45 p.m. an aircraft taxiing behind the Boeing 767 reported that fuel was leaking from the aircraft before the fire started,” the statement said. “Passengers evacuated via slides onto the taxiway.”
The airport was shut down for some time Thursday. However, it reopened at 3:20 p.m. “Fortunately in this scenario, 12:30 is not our busiest time,” Greg Meyer, FLL spokesperson, said. “Had this happened later in the day it would have had more of an impact.”
The National Transportation Safety Board will be sending a team of four people to Fort Lauderdale to look into the incident, it said, as reported by Reuters. The airlines connects Fort Lauderdale, New York, Venezuela and Guyana.
Less than two months ago, a British Airways flight headed for London caught fire as it was about to take off from Las Vegas. All 172 passengers were forced to evacuate the plane using emergency slides.