American Airlines jet catches fire on takeoff at Chicago airport

American Airlines jet catches fire on takeoff at Chicago airport

American Airlines jet catches fire on takeoff at Chicago airport

Written by Staff Writer

29 Oct, 2016 | 4:28 pm

An American Airlines plane has caught fire on the runway of Chicago’s O’Hare airport while taking off.

The right-side engine of an American Airlines Boeing 767 failed Friday during an attempted takeoff, sending debris as far as a half mile and passengers hurriedly down emergency slides onto a runway.

The pilot aborted the take-off and evacuated everyone on board via emergency chutes as black smoke billowed from the plane.

Twenty people suffered minor injuries, the fire department said.

Nine crew members and 161 passengers were on board.

The plane was fully loaded with 43,000 lbs (19,504 kg) of jet fuel, which was leaking when fire crews reached the jet, Sampey told a news conference later.

As the Chicago mishap unfolded, O’Hare’s tower controllers began ordering inbound planes to abort landing approaches and “go around,” initially closing all runways so emergency vehicles could reach the stricken aircraft, according to audio recordings of the main tower frequency posted by the website liveatc.net.

Operations later resumed on the north side of O’Hare airport, one of the world’s busiest, according to web tracking sites and a live feed of tower conversations from liveatc.net.

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