15 hurt after plane catches fire at US airport

Black smoke billowing from the plane after an engine caught fire as it was taxiing for take-off on a runway at the Fort Lauderdale airport in Florida on Thursday. Officials said there were 101 people on board.
Black smoke billowing from the plane after an engine caught fire as it was taxiing for take-off on a runway at the Fort Lauderdale airport in Florida on Thursday. Officials said there were 101 people on board.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MIAMI • Fifteen people were injured, one seriously, when an airliner caught fire while taxiing for take-off on an airport runway in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the authorities said.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office said an engine caught fire on the Boeing 767 passenger jet, which was getting ready to depart for Caracas, Venezuela, on Thursday.

Officials said there were 101 people on board the plane. One person sustained serious burns, two were less seriously hurt, and the remaining 12 had bumps and bruises, county officials told the media.

One child was among those being treated at Broward Health Medical Centre, a hospital spokesman said.

Video images circulating on the Internet show a large cloud of black smoke billowing from the plane. Other images show a badly charred engine under one of its wings.

The 29-year-old aircraft was leaking fuel before departure, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said, and its crew was warned about the leak by a jet taxiing behind it.

The plane was operated by Dynamic International Airways, a United States-certificated airline.

The FAA said flights in and out of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport were suspended following the incident. The airport reopened about three hours later. The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending a team to investigate the fire.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2015, with the headline '15 hurt after plane catches fire at US airport'. Print Edition | Subscribe