A plane caught fire while attempting to take off from Chicago on Saturday. SkyNews reports that 21 people were injured in the incident as passengers scrambled to leave the plane via emergency exits.
The crew of the American Airlines Boeing 767 bound for Miami aborted take off from O’Hare airport following “an engine-related mechanical issue”, according to airline spokesperson Leslie Scott.
A statement by American Airlines said: “Twenty passengers and one flight attendant reported non-critical injuries. Several were transported to Chicago-area hospitals to be evaluated.
“Members of American’s specially trained employee volunteer CARE Team have been mobilised and dispatched to those hospitals, and Chicago O’Hare International Airport to provide assistance for our customers, crew members, and their families.”
The statement added: “We are operating a special flight tonight to take our customers to Miami.”
According to Timothy Sampey of Chicago’s Fire Department, the disaster could have been much worse.
He told newsmen that the plane was fully loaded with 43,000lbs (19,504kg) of jet fuel, which was leaking when fire crews reached the jet.
“So they had a heavy volume of fire on both the engine and the entire wing,” he said. “This could have been absolutely devastating if it happened later.”