Two injured in fire on British Airways jet in Las Vegas

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A British Airways jet caught fire on the runway at Las Vegas on Tuesday, injuring two people, the airport said.

The 159 passengers and 13 crew were evacuated, with two people transported to a local hospital for “minor” injuries, officials of the McCarran International Airport said.

British Airways flight 2276 was due to take off for London’s Gatwick Airport when the blaze broke out at 4:13 pm (2313 GMT). The fire was extinguished within five minutes, airport authorities wrote on Twitter.

The aircraft, which appeared in online photos to have sustained major damage, was described as a 275-seat Boeing 777-200.

Operations at the airport resumed within an hour, except at the affected runway, the airport said.

Jacob Steinberg, a reporter for The Guardian newspaper in Britain who was on the plane, tweeted that he was awakened by a “crashing halt,” before he smelled smoke and heard an evacuation order.

“They opened the back door, and slide went down and smoke started coming in plane, followed by mad dash to front,” Steinberg wrote. “A lot of panic.”

One passenger described melted windows from the heat of the blaze in the fully fueled engine.

The pilot later was applauded while visiting evacuated passengers in the airport and told of “a catastrophic failure of the engine,” Steinberg said.

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