Fire Burns Airplane at Airport in Fort Lauderdale; 15 People Reported Injured
F ifteen people were taken to the hospital after a Boeing 767-269ER airplane operated by Dynamic International Airways was on fire on the tarmac at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport while carrying 101 passengers and members of the flight crew on its way to departing for Caracas.
The airport was closed for a significant part of the afternoon; and the closure resulted in long delays of departing and arriving flights. One runway will be used as flights were expected to resume by evening on a limited basis.
Members of the flight crew aboard another airplane reported seeing a massive amount of fuel leaking from its left engine, according to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States, according to this article written by Jay Blackman for NBC News. “In recordings of air traffic control communications, a pilot is told of the leak and then someone says, ‘Engine’s on fire! Engine’s on fire!’”
— Mike Dupuy (@mikejdupuy) October 29, 2015
Passengers were already fleeing the plane using inflatable chutes by the time firefighters arrived at the scene.
A team of investigators will being sent to the scene of the incident by the National Transportation Safety Board of the United States. Included on that team will be representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing Corporation, Dynamic Airways and Pratt & Whitney, which manufactured the JT9D engines.
An official statement was released from Dynamic Airways which announced that the flight was “safely diverted”:
Today October 29th 2015 while taxiing for an on time departure from Fort Lauderdale to Caracas, Dynamic International Airways Crew became aware of an engine problem. The crew followed the emergency procedures, shut down the engine and evacuated the aircraft in order to assure safety to all on board.
The Company is conducting initial investigation and will issue further information once available. Safety of our passengers and crew members is the first priority of Dynamic International Airways. Dynamic International Airways is currently arranging accommodation and transportation for all passengers impacted by today’s flight disruption. Airline expects to continue operation as per the schedule starting tomorrow October 30th 2015. Dynamic International Airways would like to thank its passengers for their patience and support while our teams conduct their duties.
Dynamic International Airways
Before today, I had never heard of Dynamic International Airways, which is based in Greensboro, North Carolina. The airline launched flights between Fort Lauderdale to Caracas this past July; and it also serves John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York; Cheddi Jagan International Airport, which serves Georgetown in Guyana; and La Chinita International Airport, which serves Maracaibo in Venezuela. The airline also claims to offer service between Orlando and Brazil; as well as service between Hong Kong and Palau.
That is is fairly bizarre collection of flight routes, which have been operated by a fleet of Boeing 767-200 and 767-300 aircraft since 2009.
The airplane involved in the incident is almost 30 years old and was first used in March of 1986 by Kuwait Airways. Since then, the airplane has been owned or operated by greater than a dozen airlines — including Air Gabon, Egyptair, LAN Chile, Qatar Airways, Polynesian Airlines, Kam Air, Birgenair and Sunny Airways.
Fortunately, no one was killed in the incident, whose outcome could have been significantly worse.
Source: Mike Dupuy @mikejdupuy via Twitter.