A passenger on an American Airlines flight kept himself busy filming his own evacuation down a slide as the plane burst into flames on Friday afternoon at a Chicago airport.
Everyone got off the plane safely. The video captures the mood and the desperation as the engine blazed. “Oh my God!” says the passenger into the camera as fire rages behind him.
Videos shot by other passengers are doing the rounds, some with people crying in the background and making desperate phone calls to their loved ones.
A comment on one video asks what people are doing filming when they are meant to be evacuating an aircraft in a dire emergency. Good question.
Another comment, posted on Instagram, just asked: “Tell me why the f***king plane I was just on blew up on takeoff!?!”
The poster also remembered to give “special thanks to the pilots and crew for getting us off safely!”
A further video can be viewed here:
The emergency happened when American Airlines flight 383, a B767-300, aborted its takeoff from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport after an engine-related mechanical issue, the airline said.
The aircraft came to a stop with the right hand engine ablaze.
Seven passengers and a flight attendant received minor injuries and were taken to hospitals.
The flight was cancelled.
According to the Aviation Herald, gossip from Chicago suggests that several right-hand main tyres burst after the aircraft hit a “foreign object” on the runway, debris penetrated the right hand inner fuel tank causing a substantial fuel leak and resulting fire.
If that’s true, it sounds similar to the events that led to the downing of an Air France Concorde in 2000. Fortunately, American Airlines flight 383 was evacuated safely and successfully – before it took off.
Written by Peter Needham