Pieces flew thousands of feet from Chicago plane on fire

CHICAGO (AP) — 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.

Firefighters extinguish flames from American Airlines Flight 383, flight bound for Miami, which caught fire on the runway at O'Hare International Airport, Friday, Oct. 28,  2016, as it was taking off. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via AP)
Firefighters extinguish flames from American Airlines Flight 383, flight bound for Miami, which caught fire on the runway at O’Hare International Airport, Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, as it was taking off. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune via AP)

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.

In this photo provided by passenger Jose Castillo, fellow passengers walk away from a burning American Airlines jet that aborted takeoff and caught fire on the runway at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Friday, Oct. 28, 2016. Pilots on Flight 383 bound for Miami reported an engine-related mechanical issue, according to an airline spokeswoman. (Jose Castillo via AP)
In this photo provided by passenger Jose Castillo, fellow passengers walk away from a burning American Airlines jet that aborted takeoff and caught fire on the runway at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Friday, Oct. 28, 2016. Pilots on Flight 383 bound for Miami reported an engine-related mechanical issue, according to an airline spokeswoman. (Jose Castillo via AP)

Chicago Department of Aviation spokeswoman Karen Pride said the runway will reopen sometime Sunday after it is cleaned of debris.

 

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