Passengers on a plane in New Jersey screamed in terror as an engine of the plane burst into flames as it swept off the runway.
The plane bound for Fort Lauderdale was forced to abort the Atlantic City takeoff after a bird strike appeared to damage the right engine, causing flammable fuel to leak onto the tarmac.
The travelers could only watch in horror as flames spewed from the rear of the engine as they waited for instructions from the crew on what to do next.
A Florida plane trying to take off from Atlantic City, New Jersey, caught fire on the runway after an apparent bird strike
The incident happened around 6 p.m. Saturday afternoon. Flames could be seen shooting out the back of the bike
People sitting by the windows could be heard yelling ‘fire!’ as panic quickly spread throughout the cabin.
All the while, the crew of the Spirit Airlines jet remained calm, telling passengers to remain seated.
‘Stay seated! Stay seated! Stay seated!’ the crew begged.
“Holy s***!” cried a woman. ‘Open this door and let us out now! Come on,” said another, and they jumped out of their seats.
Very few seemed to listen with footage shot in the cabin showing people reaching into the overhead bins to retrieve their luggage before getting off the plane.
Passengers could be seen standing before the crew gave instructions to evacuate
People grabbed their bags from the overhead bins despite being told to leave everything behind
A man was heard to tell a passenger to ‘relax’, but it was clearly something many found difficult to do given the circumstances.
Flight attendants explained that the airport firefighters rushed to the scene of the accident and the passengers had to sit down again.
Before many could return to their seats, the captain gave the order to evacuate, but to prevent them from using the exit above the wing where the engine had burned.
‘Evacuate! Evacuate! Evacuate! The right engine caught fire. We hit a bird during takeoff. Please avoid the right engine,” the captain instructed.
The sight of thick black smoke on the side of the plane created even more panic in the cabin
When the flames were extinguished, black smoke started coming from the engine
The flight attendants instructed people to leave their bags behind. ‘Leave everything behind! Come forward quickly. Jump on the slide!’ They cried.
Outside the window, photo obtained by The Lakewood Scoop shows thick black smoke blowing into the air.
It only caused more panic among passengers, but by the time the 102 passengers and seven crew jumped off the emergency slides, the flames were out after being extinguished with foam by an airport fire engine.
The cabin of the aircraft never caught fire and smoke never entered.
The South Jersey Transportation Authority said all 109 people on board the Airbus A320 plane, 102 passengers and seven crew members, were evacuated safely.
Once off the plane, the passengers took cover on the grass by the side of the runway, but even once out of the stricken plane, the drama wasn’t over.
A passenger managed to record a video as they jumped off the evacuation slide
Passengers ran onto the grass on the side of the runway as fellow travelers took cover
People were seen sliding down the emergency slides when the plane was evacuated
Many people managed to take huge amounts of hand luggage with them
At one point, you saw a small dog scurrying around on the tarmac looking for its owner, while an elderly woman sliding down the slide also landed face to face on the ground.
Two people reported minor injuries “requiring medical transport,” the authority said.
“The captain braked safely and brought the aircraft to a stop, received an indication of engine damage and ordered an evacuation in accordance with our standard procedures,” Spirit Airlines said, noting that the aircraft never took off.
The fire was extinguished and the aircraft was left on the runway pending an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Passengers were given a full refund along with a voucher for future travel and the option to board another plane to Fort Lauderdale later on Saturday, the airline said.
The aircraft could be seen with both forward evacuation gates depolymerized
Passengers could stand and take in everything they had just experienced on the grass
The airport’s own emergency services were quickly on site to extinguish the flames
Passengers jumped off the slide and then quickly ran from the side of the plane
At one point a dog was loose before it was picked up by a passenger