Jetliner Fire on Florida Runway Forces Passengers to Flee

  • Caracas-bound flight was preparing for takeoff before blaze
  • Fuel was seen leaking from Dynamic's Boeing 767, FAA says

A Dynamic International Airways jet bound for Caracas caught fire as it prepared to take off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, forcing passengers and crew members to evacuate via emergency slides and shutting down the airport for several hours.

An aircraft taxiing behind the plane reported spotting fuel leaking from the twin-aisle Boeing Co. 767 before the blaze started at about 12:45 p.m., according to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. The Broward County Sheriff’s office reported 14 injuries, including one person who suffered burns, according to WSVN.com.

“The crew followed the emergency procedures, shut down the engine and evacuated the aircraft in order to assure safety to all on board,” Dynamic said in a statement on Facebook. The airline is arranging accommodations for passengers on the plane, it said.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport reopened one of its two runways at about 5 p.m., the FAA said in a Twitter post.

Photos and video posted to social media sites showed black smoke billowing from the left side of the plane as passengers skidded down inflatable chutes to safety. The area around the plane was covered in the foam used by airport crews to douse flames from jet kerosene.

NTSB Team

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is sending a four-person team to investigate, according to NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss. The engine manufacturer, United Technology Corp.’s Pratt & Whitney, Boeing and the airline will participate.
Boeing is providing technical assistance, the company said in a statement.

Dynamic is based in Greensboro, North Carolina, and flies to Venezuelan destinations including Caracas and Maracaibo, according to the company’s website. The carrier offers service from airports in locations such as New York, Guyana, Florida and Hong Kong on its fleet of wide-body 767s, according to its website.

The 767-200 was built in 1986, according to the FAA. Messages left with the airport and Broward County firefighters weren’t immediately returned.

By 5:45 p.m., there had been 46 cancellations of flights to or from Fort Lauderdale, according to tracking website FlightAware.com. Another 149 flights were delayed.

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