An American Airlines plane has caught fire and passengers have been evacuated on the runway at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman,Tony Molinaro, said American Airlines Flight 383 departed Chicago for Miami on Friday afternoon when it blew a tire and damaged an engine. Mr Molinaro added the pilot aborted the takeoff and everyone was taken to safety.
There were a number of injuries, Mr Molinaro said. According to local media eight people have been injured including one member of the cabin crew. They were taken to Lutheran General Hospital in Chicago.
Television reports showed a large plume of black smoke coming from the Boeing 767, which appeared to be damaged at the rear. Evacuation chutes extended from the plane. Emergency services rushed to the Boeing 767 to rescue the terrified fleeing passengers. Some were seen dragging their luggage across the grass verge as they made their escape.
Chicago fire officials said on the department’s Twitter account that there was an extra-alarm emergency response at the airport for an “aircraft down.”
The plane appeared to be intact, although the right hand side of the aircraft and the right wing showed signs of charring. Video posted online showed passengers coming down an emergency slide, and running away from the tarmac as black smoke billowed from the plane.