American Airlines Jet Catches Fire On Takeoff At Chicago Airport

by
Reuters
An American Airlines (AAL.O) jet caught fire moments before it was due to depart O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on Friday, prompting the pilot to abort takeoff before passengers were evacuated from the plane via emergency chute, authorities said.

The airline said seven passengers and one flight attendant from the plane, a Boeing 767 bound for Miami, were taken to a hospital afterward for evaluation of minor injuries suffered in the incident.

An American Airlines spokeswoman said all the injuries were typical of those associated with evacuating a commercial airliner, such as muscle sprains, and that none involved burns or smoke inhalation.

American Airlines said in a statement that takeoff of the jet, Flight 383 with 161 passengers and nine crew members aboard, was aborted "due to an engine-related issue."

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was on a "takeoff roll on runway 28R" at O'Hare when "pilots reported that the aircraft blew a tire and aborted takeoff."

Neither the FAA nor the airline mentioned a fire.

But the Chicago Department of Aviation issued a statement saying the city fire department responded to an aircraft fire involving American Airlines Flight 383 and that the passengers were off the plane. It said no crash was involved.

Footage from Chicago's ABC News affiliate station, WLS-TV, showed an American Airlines jet on the ground with flames and large clouds of black smoke billowing from one side of the aircraft, which had its emergency slides deployed. Passengers milled about on the airfield watching the blaze as fire trucks poured water on the flames.

The incident forced the closure of two of the airport's runways.