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Boeing 767 suffers engine explosion and fire on takeoff from Chicago

31 October 2016

An American Airlines Boeing 767 caught fire and experienced an uncontained engine failure as it prepared to take off from Chicago’s O’Hare airport on October 28. The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said the stage 2 disc of the engine's high pressure turbine failed causing an explosion which threw engine parts up to 900 metres away and forcing the pilots to abort the takeoff.

Stock image
Stock image

The US Federal Aviation Administration initially said the fire occurred after a tyre burst and later issued a statement saying it happened "after experiencing a problem during takeoff".

NTSB senior investigator Lorenda Ward told journalists the day after the incident that it was too early to conclude why the engine failed.

American said seven passengers and one flight attendant were injured during the evacuation of the aircraft, but none seriously. Flight 383, headed for Miami, carried 161 passengers and nine crew members.

The incident prompted a massive response from firefighters and caused long delays at one of the nation's busiest airports for the rest of the day.

The plane was carrying about 43,000 pounds of fuel and there was "a substantial fuel leak", Timothy Sampey, Chicago’s assistant deputy fire commissioner for airport operations, said at the news conference. "There was a heavy volume of fire on the engine and all the way to the wing tip."

"This could have been absolutely devastating if it happened later," Sampey said. The last ground speed was recorded at 132 miles an hour, Flightradar24 reported.

The fire blackened the right side of the plane, and live footage shows the charred wing on that side drooping toward the ground.

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