Fire aboard plane at Fort Lauderdale airport injures more than 20, halts …

30 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Fire aboard plane at Fort Lauderdale airport injures more than 20, halts hundreds of flights.

DANIA BEACH, Florida: A jet plane’s engine caught fire Thursday as it prepared for takeoff, and more than 100 passengers had to quickly evacuate using emergency slides. A plane caught fire at the Fort Lauderdale, Florida airport on Thursday, sending passengers fleeing for their lives out of the aircraft’s emergency slides. Photos and video from the scene show the Dynamic Airways plane engulfed in thick black flames around 12:30pm before airport firefighters came and extinguished the fire with a white foam. That set off a rush for the exits for the 101 passengers and crew members on board. “I was the second passenger leaving the aircraft,” said Gallegos, who works in Miami. “We spent probably 30 to 40 seconds before they opened the door.

Some ran away from the plane into the terminal at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport as fire crews rushed to put the blaze out. “I heard a loud bang. It was pretty nerve-racking to know the door wasn’t opening and something was on fire.” The engine fire damaged the jetliner and sent about two dozen people to the hospital, mostly with minor injuries. Don Dodson, the director of operations for Dynamic Airways, said airline officials had set up a crisis center, flown in additional airline representatives to help passengers and arranged for a relief flight to take passengers to their final destinations. Operations at the airport had to be halted Thursday afternoon because the fire-rescue vehicles used to fight the fire needed to be restocked, said Mike Jachles, a spokesman for Broward Sheriff Fire-Rescue.

Late in the afternoon, passengers said that Dynamic Airlines had not reached out to them and that many were being held in the room while their passports and bags were still on the plane. “The pilot was completely silent. An air traffic controller told the pilot “a lot of fluid” was leaking from his left engine and then urgently said the engine had caught fire and that he was dispatching firefighters, according to an audio recording posted by WSVN. We haven’t heard anything,” passenger Camilia Diaz-Petkoff said at the time. “We want to know what happened.” By Thursday evening, airline representatives had spoken to passengers, telling them the company would pay for an overnight hotel stay and have a new flight ready to leave by Friday morning. According to Federal Aviation Administration records, the plane, manufactured in 1986, was checked Sept. 5 for aircraft safety. “We would not like to speculate about the potential causes of the incident during the ongoing investigation, and all of us at Dynamic are committed to fully cooperating with the [National Transportation Safety Board] and other authorities,” Dodson said in a statement. Dynamic began servicing Caracas in July, after several other major airlines ended or slashed service to Venezuela over the government’s refusal to pay an estimated $4 billion the carriers say they have trapped in the country.

For Venezuelans hoping to travel abroad, the options have been severely reduced to little-known carriers such as Dynamic or domestic carriers, which due to the country’s economic crisis, have struggled to import replacement parts. Airline officials said they’ve already started reviewing records for the crew and the plane, which was last inspected in June and had a new engine with less than 200 hours of flight time. Nine crew members were onboard – more than required – and were a very experienced team, which helped evacuating passengers quickly and seamlessly, Dodson said.

A pilot in an aircraft behind the Dynamic International Airways plane and an air-traffic controller reported fuel leaking from it before the fire, The Associated Press reported. The 6-year-old discount airline is based in Greensboro, North Carolina, and started daily service over the summer between Fort Lauderdale and Caracas.

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