At least 13 people were reportedly injured after a London-bound British Airways airplane caught fire at McCarren Airport in Las Vegas on 8 September. The left engine of British Airways flight 2276, which was flying to Gatwick Airport, caught fire as it prepared to take off, sparking the evacuation of all 159 passengers and 13 crew on board, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.
Firefighters quickly covered the Boeing 777-200 in fire retardant as a plume of black smoke emerged from the plane.
The incident happened shortly after 4pm local time (7pm EST/12am BST), CNN reported. McCarran Airport tweeted that two on board were transported for "minor injuries" following the fire. It later updated the count to seven, all for minor injuries.
Passengers at the airport saw black smoke envelope the plane and passengers rushing out of the aircraft. Bradley Hampton, who was on a plane about 200 to 300 yards away from the British Airways carrier, told CNN he did not know whether there were passengers on the aircraft until he "saw the doors fly open and the slides inflate."
He continued: "At that time, we saw droves of people jumping out of a slide and running across the runway away from the plane." Fellow flyer Paul Berberian told CNN that the events happened fairly quickly.
Berberian said he estimated that smaller vehicles were at the scene within around 90 seconds, with larger fire trucks arriving within two minutes.
Reggie Bugmuncher, of Philadelphia, watched the events unfolding from a gate overlooking the runaway.
"Everyone ran to the windows and people were standing on their chairs, looking out, holding their breath with their hands over their mouths," Bugmuncher told AP.
McCarran Airport tweeted that the fire was extinguished and all passengers were removed from the plane by 4.18pm, just five minutes after authorities received the first call.
The airport also reported that the FAA had lifted a previous ground stop for flights heading towards Las Vegas.
British Airways said: "The safety of our customers and crew is always our priority, and we are looking after those who were on board the BA2276 from Las Vegas to London Gatwick".
"The aircraft, a 777-200 experienced a technical issue as it was preparing for take-off from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Our crew evacuated the aircraft safely and the fire was quickly extinguished by the emergency services at the airport," the air carrier added.
"A small number of customers and our crew have been taken to hospital. All customers have been provided with hotel accommodation, and our colleagues are helping them with anything further they require."
British Airways said friends or family with any concerns can call from the US the number 1 800 654 3246 and from the UK 0800 389 4191.