Last updated: 11:00 AM ET, Sat October 29 2016

American Airlines Boeing 767 Catches Fire on O'Hare Runway

Impacting Travel | American Airlines | Jessica Kleinschmidt | October 29, 2016

American Airlines Boeing 767 Catches Fire on O'Hare Runway

photo courtesy of American Airlines 

According to multiple reports, the right-side engine of an American Airlines Boeing 767 failed Friday following an attempted takeoff at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport resulting in an emergency evacuation.

CNN's original report says debrit was flown as far as half a mile and "passengers hurriedly down emergency slides onto a runway." So far, it seems the unfolding investigation told CNN the General Electric engine suffered an apparent "uncontained" failure. 

All 161 passengers along with nine crew members fled to safety following the flames. Luckily the plane stopped quite a ways before the end of the runway, and Airport fire Chief Timothy Sampey said it could have been a complete disaster.

"This could have been absolutely devastating if it happened later," he said.

The flight was Miami bound when the takeoff was aborted. A passenger told CNN that while sitting in row 31 he "heard a loud clunk, then saw a large ball of flame that he assumed came from the engine area." He called the situation "coordinated chaos" and adds the smoke resulted in difficult breathing. He then complimented the crew for getting everyone out of the plane in what felt like a minute. 

So far the cause is labeled as "engine failure," but the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. 

TravelPulse will update the story as it continues.  

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