Terrified passengers escape from airliner as it catches fire on Las Vegas runway
A British Airways plane caught fire with 172 people on board on the runway at Las Vegas shortly before it was due to take off for Gatwick.
Terrified passengers used emergency slides to escape from the stricken aircraft . As they ran to the safety of the terminal they could see flames pouring out of the aircraft's left engine and smoke billowing into the sky.
The aircraft had been taxiing along the runway at McCarran Airport when the engine burst into flames.
According to one passenger, the Boeing 777 came to a juddering halt and the pilot told those on board that the plane had suffered a catastrophic engine failure.
Miraculously, everybody was evacuated safely. However, 14 people - including passengers and crew members - were taken to hospital.
Seven people were being treated for minor injuries last night.
Panic Some passengers were criticised for taking their hand luggage with them as they left the burning plane.
British Airways described the cause of the fire as being due to a "technical issue."
Jacob Steinberg, a 'Guardian' journalist who was on the jet, said he was asleep as the plane was making its way along the runway before stopping abruptly.
"They opened up one of the doors and immediately loads of smoke came into the plane through that door, which led to quite a lot of panic.
"As far as I could tell, everyone was out fairly quickly on to the runway," he added.