Engine failure caused blast on plane at O’Hare airport
Pilots aborted takeoff and all 161 passengers were safe after engine fire burned fuselage and sent smoke billowing into the air
CHICAGO—Engine pieces from an American Airlines plane that caught fire Friday on a runway at Chicago’s O’Hare airport were found thousands of feet away, a federal investigator said.
Lorenda Ward, a National Transportation Safety Board senior investigator, confirmed Saturday that the fire was caused by engine failure. What caused the engine to fail has not yet been determined, she said at a press conference.
She says the fire started in a pool of fuel under the right wing of the Boeing 767.
One piece of General Electric engine was found nearly 3,000 feet away at a UPS warehouse. Another was found about 1,500 feet away but on airport property.
Pilots aborted the takeoff of American Airlines Flight 383 to Miami. All 161 passengers and nine crew safely evacuated as smoke billowed into the air. Twenty people were taken to the hospital with injuries mainly from the evacuation, officials said. They had all been released by late Saturday, Ward said.
The fire burned the fuselage of the plane but did no major damage to the inside of the cabin, she said.
The airplane has been moved off the runway to a location where the investigation can continue.
Chicago Department of Aviation spokeswoman Karen Pride said the runway will reopen sometime Sunday after it is cleaned of debris.