Only minor injuries have been reported after a spectacular engine fire broke out on a British Airways 777-200 while on the ground at Las Vegas airport today.
There were 159 passengers and 13 crew on the flight BA2276 to London Gatwick and so far, just two people reported as suffering minor injuries after an emergency evacuation on the runway being used or the adjacent tarmac.
Aircraft tracking sites show the jet came to a stop a very short way down the runway.
The FAA has been quoted by US media as saying that there was an engine ‘failure’ before the jet reached V1 speed, above which the takeoff could no longer be safely aborted for the remaining length of runway.
It is unclear from the images of the incident whether the engine blew up in what is called an uncontained failure, or if its rapidly spinning turbine components remained contained (as intended in the design and safety regulations) after the engine ‘failed’.
An airport worker tweeted that he had seen the jet explode on the runway.
From all reports, and including from a Guardian reporter who was on board, the jet was evacuated very rapidly and effectively.
One of the anonymous social media images of the fire taken from adjacent airliners is shown below.