Las Vegas jet fire engine safe, maker says

  • 10/09/2015
The British Airways passenger jet after the fire (Reuters)
The British Airways passenger jet after the fire (Reuters)

The manufacturer of the engine that burst into flames on a British Airways jet in Las Vegas says other aircraft powered by the GE90 engines are safe to fly.

The Boeing 777 was preparing to take off with 172 people on board on Tuesday when the fire broke out in its left engine. The crew immediately aborted the takeoff and terrified passengers scrambled off the burning plane using emergency slides.

McCarran International Airport said seven people were injured, while local television reports put the number at 14.

General Electric, the maker of the GE90, said it was sending technical representatives to assist an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, but insisted its engine was safe.

"Based on the engine fleet's service history, we are not aware of any operational issues that would hazard the continued safe flight of aircraft powered by these engines," it said on Wednesday (local time).

Boeing and British Airways, which sent letters of apology to passengers on flight BA2276, were also taking part in the probe.

GE issued a statement saying the engine "has compiled an outstanding safety and reliability record since entering service in 1995".

"The GE90 is among the world's most reliable engines, powering more than 900 Boeing 777 aircraft and accumulating more than 50 million flight hours."

The BA jet was preparing to leave for London when it experienced what its pilot later described as a "catastrophic engine failure".

A video shot by a passenger aboard a nearby plane and aired on CNN showed passengers using evacuation slides and running away on the tarmac as emergency vehicles rushed to douse the flames.

There were 159 passengers and 13 crew on the flight, according to the FAA. The blaze was quickly put out by some 50 firefighters.

AFP