Update as of 3:25 a.m. EDT: McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas said that its Runway 7L reopened late Tuesday night after a London-bound British Airways plane caught fire while preparing to take off. The runway was cleared by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) following the incident that left 14 people with minor injuries.
FAA spokesman Ian Gregor reportedly said that the left engine of the plane, a Boeing 777 jet, caught fire and an investigation was under way.
Update as of 1:13 a.m. EDT: Fourteen people reportedly received minor injuries after a London-bound British Airways plane caught fire Tuesday while preparing to take off from Las Vegas.
British Airways Flight 2276, a Boeing 777 jet, was carrying 159 passengers and 13 crew members. Boeing said it “is prepared to provide technical assistance to the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) following today's incident at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas.”
An apology letter from BA. It's 9.45pm in Las Vegas and we have just heard from a beleaguered tour guide. pic.twitter.com/eaLvk8l0Ws
— Jacob Steinberg (@JacobSteinberg) September 9, 2015
Two people suffered minor injuries after a fire broke out on an outbound flight at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas on Tuesday, CNN reported. The airplane’s engine caught fire during takeoff, leading to the evacuation of the plane.
Shortly after 4 p.m. PDT (7 p.m. EDT), British Airways Flight 2276 was ready to take off for Gatwick Airport in London where it was scheduled to arrive a little after 9:30 a.m., British time, according to FlightAware, a live flight tracking website. During takeoff, the left engine of the Boeing 777 caught fire. The plane was carrying 159 passengers and 13 crew members.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stop that included airports in San Francisco; San Jose, California; Phoenix; Salt Lake City; Denver; Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Boise, Idaho, according to the Las Vegas airport's Twitter. It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the fire on the 275-seat plane. The fire, which produced large plumes of smoke, also led the airport to shut down one of its runways.
“Safety is always our priority,” British Airways said in a statement, according to the Los Angeles Times. “We are looking after customers after a technical issue with the aircraft."
Boeing has said it is reviewing the incident, and would not comment further. According to FlightAware, flights to Las Vegas were delayed as long as an hour and 4 minutes while departures from McCarran faced delays as long as 44 minutes.
The same plane involved in the Las Vegas fire was also the type of plane involved in the 2013 crash at San Francisco International Airport that left three dead and 187 injured. The missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 -- the search for which has cost $140 million so far -- was also a Boeing 777, as was plane shot down over Ukraine last year, the L.A. Times noted.
— Jamlyn8 (@A8r8p8) September 8, 2015
Despite these instances, some experts say the model is a relatively safe airplane. Scott Hamilton, an aviation consultant, told the L.A. Times the Boeing 777 has not been involved in many crashes.