DANIA BEACH, Fla. -- A jet plane's engine caught fire yesterday as it prepared for takeoff, and more than 100 passengers had to quickly evacuate using emergency slides. One person was seriously injured, officials said.
Dozens of passengers could be seen in video footage gliding down the slides of the Dynamic Airways flight bound for Caracas, Venezuela. Some ran away from the plane into the terminal at Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport as fire crews rushed to put the blaze out.
Andres Gallegos said he was one of the first passengers to use the chutes to evacuate.
"I heard a loud bang. I turned around, saw the lights, saw the flames and I ran to the front of the aircraft," said Gallegos, who said it took about 30 seconds for the plane doors to open. "It was pretty nerve-wracking, knowing that the door wasn't opening and that something was on fire." Other passengers reported chaos as people screamed, cried and ran through the plane. Several people said the flight crew remained calm and acted quickly.
"In that moment, the only thing going through my mind is trying to get off the plane," said passenger Daniela Magro.
About a dozen other people were taken to the hospital for minor injuries including bumps, sprains and stress, said Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles.
Don Dodson, the director of operations for Dynamic Airways, said the most serious injury came as a passenger was running across the ramp after exiting the plane. He did not specify the nature of the injury.
Dynamic is a 5-year-old airline that connects Fort Lauderdale, New York, Venezuela and Guyana. It operates seven 767s.