Newark airport reopens after United Airlines plane engine fire prompts plane evacuation

Newark Libery International Airport in New Jersey temporarily shuts down after 131 people were evacuated from a United Airlines flight when flames were spotted coming from an engine.
File photo of United Airlines aircraft.
File photo of United Airlines aircraft.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey has reopened after temporarily shutting down late Tuesday (May 23), following an engine fire that prompted the evacuation of an airplane, officials said.  

There were reports of five minor injuries, according to a statement posted on the airport’s official Twitter account, with delays expected to persist through the night.  The airport is a major international hub near New York City.  

“Newark Airport is temporarily closed due to deployment of emergency chutes on a plane with an apparent engine fire,” an earlier post on the airport’s official Twitter account had said.  

A passenger posted video of the plane on the tarmac surrounded by vehicles with flashing lights. “Just had to evacuate my @united flight using the slide,” the user tweeted using the handle @lo–toney.  

United Airlines Flight 1579 bound for San Francisco halted its take-off as it was taxiing on the runway, local media reported. It was due to depart at 9:22pm Tuesday (9:22am Wednesday Singapore time).