MIAMI (CBS) — According to the airline, an engine malfunction on the Boeing 767 caused the fire and all passengers were evacuated safely.READ MORE: Federal Government's N95 Masks Distribution Starts Monday
The FAA said in a statement that the plane blew a tire while taking off from runway around 2:35 p.m. and aborted the takeoff.
On board the plane there was panic.
Cellphone video captured frantic passengers yelling at one another to “Go, go!”
The plane’s 161 passengers and nine crew members used the emergency slides to get off the plane. Gary Schiavone was onboard.
“There was a big ball of red flames blew up from that window,” Schiavone said. “That’s all I can tell you. I got out of there as fast as I can.”
Schiavone said smoke filtered into the cabin.
“About halfway through getting out, the smoke started getting heavy,” he said. “So you get a deep breath to get some oxygen and you take in smoke and that was the scariest part of the whole thing.”
American Airlines reported 20 passengers and one flight attendant suffered “non-critical injuries.” Seven people were reportedly transported to the hospital to be evaluated.
Video on Instagram and Facebook showed passengers leaving the plane.Mark Rosenberg Acknowledges He Resigned As FIU President Because ‘I Caused Discomfort For A Valued Employee’
Seconds before the fire, everything seemed normal.
“Cleared for takeoff, American 383,” said an air traffic controller.
But then, an emergency.
“Chicago, American 383,” said a voice from inside the plane, presumably a pilot. “We’re evacuating.”
“Three-eight-three, Roger,” said the air traffic control voice. “Trucks are on the way.”
Video from another plane shows heavy black smoke and flames.
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The right wing was melted and the right side of the plane was charred.
A federal official told the Associated Press that the plane experienced a rare, unconfined engine failure where engine parts break off the plane and start flying around the aircraft.
Firefighters said there was a substantial amount of fuel spilling from the plane when they arrived.MORE NEWS: Mural Honoring Gloria & Emilio Estefan Unveiled In Little Havana
“This could have been absolutely devastating,” said Timothy Sampey, Airport Assistant Deputy Fire Commissioner.