American Airlines Jet Catches Fire at Chicago, No Fatalities

October 28, 2016 – Chicago

An American Airlines aircraft caught fire on the runway at Chicago O’Hare International Airport today as it aborted takeoff “due to an engine-related mechanical issue”. Several videos on social media showed engine number two on the American Boeing 767 engulfed in black smoke and fire as 161 passengers and 9 crew members evacuate the aircraft. One flight attendant and twenty passengers reported minor injuries, the airline said.

The plane, registered as N345AN was a Boeing 767-300ER operating its Chicago – Miami flight AA383 with 170 souls on board. Eerie videos show the engines just shutting down when passengers began to evacuate through three inflatable slides on the left side of the Boeing 767, as the right side burns in flames. Speaking to WLS-TV, passengers said that the plane was speeding on the runway for takeoff when they heard an explosion and everyone on the right side jumped towards left. “The windows were already melting off within 7 seconds and there was black smoke inside the cabin”, said the frightened passengers.

Video: Passengers evacuate the American 767

Engine Failed Due To An “Uncontained” Failure, Investigation Ongoing

Federal investigators say that the right-side engine failed due to an uncontained failure, meaning parts of engines were thrown out of the engine itself. The pilots had reported a loud thump as the aircraft was speeding the runway 28C at Chicago, and thought a tire had blown up. It is likely that the debris of the blown up tire(s) were sucked into the engine causing moving parts inside the engine to break apart and implode, although this has not been confirmed. The airlines said that it was fully cooperating with the NTSB in the investigation.

The plane that was involved - American Boeing 767-300(ER), registered N345AN

The plane that was involved – American Boeing 767-300(ER), registered N345AN

Photo: Alex Brodkey from FlightRadar24 on Facebook

The 767, which has a capacity of carrying 63,000 liters of fuel, was carrying 43,000 liters at the time. Chicago Deputy Fire Commissioner Timothy Sampey said that the fire was mostly contained but were still trying to put out “hot spots”.

Special Miami Flight To Be Operated

American Airlines said it would be operating a “special flight” to Miami this evening to accommodate the passengers. The twenty passengers and the flight attendant who were injured with minor injuries were escorted to the hospitals in Chicago and are being taken care of by employee volunteers from their CARE team. In a similar but unrelated event, a FedEx DC-10 cargo jet aircraft caught fire after it landed at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida later today. Pilots escaped the plane unhurt.

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