A Dynamic Airways jet carrying 101 people caught fire at Fort Lauderdale International Airport in Florida today, injuring more than 20 people, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
But officials said the incident could have been worse.
“We averted a disaster today,” said airport spokesman Greg Meyer.
The plane, a Boeing 767 bound for Caracas, Venezuela, caught fire on Taxiway B while taxiing for departure from Runway 28, according to the FAA. The plane just behind it reported that fuel was leaking from the aircraft before the fire started.
"Hey, uh, Dynamic is, out of the left engine, it looks like it's leaking a lot of -- I don't know if it's fuel, it's fluid leaking out of the live engine," the second plane's pilot told Air Traffic Control, according to audio provided by LiveATC.net.
"We copy. We’ll probably need to go back to the ramp," the Dynamic pilot replies.
Then, just a few moments later, "Engine’s on fire! Engine’s on fire!" the pilot yells.
The Broward County Fire Department responded within two minutes, using foam to extinguish the fire, an official said.
Within six minutes, all passengers were evacuated via slides onto the taxiway, according to an airport official.
Some 21 people were injured and 19 were discharged from the hospital as of Thursday evening. A 62-year-old man was seriously injured when he fell and hit his head on the tarmac while running away from the plane. A 4-year-old boy was also among the injured.
Broward County officials said that there was a minor fuel leak in the area of the left wing near the engine. There was also a fuel fire on the ground.
Both the airport's runways were shut down and all inbound flights were being diverted, according to the FAA.
Some 219 flights were delayed and 43 canceled as a result and the airport was shut down for 3 hours.
"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," the airline said in a statement. "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."
The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a four-person team to Fort Lauderdale to investigate the incident. They'll be joined by representatives from the FAA, Boeing, Dynamic Airways, and engine maker Pratt & Whitney, officials said.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that the serious injury reported was not due to burns, as authorities had previously announced.
ABC News' Matt Hosford, Seni Tienabeso, Michael DelMoro, Becky Perlow, Jeff Cook and Jason Volack contributed to this report.
- Disasters & Accidents
- Fort Lauderdale