American Airlines Aircraft Fire Outside Fuselage at O’Hare Runway 28R; 170 Evacuated, 9 Injured

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Chicago Fire Department responded about 2:35 p.m. to an aircraft fire at O’Hare International Airport Runway 28R, which is just south of the main terminal area.

American Airlines Flight 383 was on takeoff for Miami, when it may have blown a tire and caught fire, or blown an engine Friday afternoon about 2:35 p.m. Passengers interviewed reported some type of explosion or boom on the right side of the aircraft right before the plane was about to take off. The pilot immediately brought the Boeing 767 aircraft to a stop, and evacuation orders began.

Air traffic radio …
“American 383 heavy stopping on the runway”
“Roger, roger. Fire.”
“Do you see any smoke or fire.”
“Yeah fire off the right wing.”
“Ok, send out the truck.”
“Sending them.”
“American 383 can you give us any information right now?”
“Uh, standby. Chicago American 383, we’re evacuating.”
“American 383 roger, trucks are on the way.”

Flames were showing from the right side wing of the aircraft, which brought initial reports of an engine fire. The aircraft also showed a lot of heavy black smoke coming from the right side of the aircraft.

About 161 passengers and 9 crew members were able to evacuate the aircraft safely, but there may be some injuries. Initial reports are that nine people were injured. Two people possibly suffered serious injuries. Initially there are no reports of any burn injuries or smoke inhalation injuries. Later the Chicago Fire Department reported that about 20 patients were transported with minor injuries, such as ankle injuries. The Emergency Medical Response was elevated to an EMS Plan 3, which brings about 15 ambulances to the scene.

According to the FAA, American Airlines Flight 383, a Boeing B767, was scheduled to depart at 2:20 p.m. but blew a tire at 2:35 p.m. and the pilot aborted takeoff. Passengers and crew evacuated off the left side of the plane by sliding down emergency chutes.

About one hour before the accident, firefighters were training with live fire on an aircraft simulator at O’Hare International Airport. Training photo is at bottom of article.

The FAA and NTSB are investigating the incident to determine the cause. The blown tire as a cause of the incident is not yet confirmed.

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