Airplane Engine Explodes Mid Runway Forcing Evacuation
On Thursday, October 29,th pilots of a Boeing 767, operated by Dynamic International Airways, departed the gate despite warnings concerning a possible problem. While on the runway preparing for take off, the airplane engine burst into flames. Passengers and crew were forced to evacuate the plane while it was on fire using the inflatable slides. 15 passengers sustained injuries, although none of them was reportedly serious.
The FAA added in its report that the Boeing model plane was clearly leaking fuel while it taxied down the runway, and a jet behind it even warned the craft that it was in a dangerous situation. Regardless, the craft prepared for take off anyway, putting the passengers and other crew members at unnecessary risk.
“It was a real scare,” said Luis Campana, a 71-year-old rancher, to reporters for Reuters. He said his seat was near the front of the plane, so he felt the explosion as the plane took off, and witnessed smoke billowing into the cabin as the passengers left.
“The engine exploded. As we were getting out of the plane down the chute, the smoke was beginning to enter and the engine was in flames,” he said.
Fortunately, the plane failed to leave the ground, allowing passengers to leave with only bumps and bruises – although one child was treated for airplane injuries at a local hospital. If the airplane had managed to get even a few hundred feet off the ground, the passengers’ and crew’s injuries would have been much worse.
“We didn’t have an announcement,” said passenger Daniela Magro. “We just saw the fire and people started freaking out, and we just left the airplane.”
Among the more serious injuries, one passenger suffered head injuries from tripping and falling while running away from the plane. A few other passengers suffered fractures, which the local hospital said were minor, and would heal well.
A total of 101 people were on the airplane. Even though the injuries were minor, airplane injury lawsuits could still be filed against the airline operator, Dynamic, for failing to properly inspect or maintain its airplanes.
The National Transportation Safety Board has yet to decide if it will launch a criminal investigation against Dynamic. However, the FAA’s report points toward negligence somewhere along the line. Airplane injuries from crashes are rare, but because of the nature of this type of travel, even the smallest potential for a crash could lead to massive loss of life. Thankfully, that did not occur in this instance.