Southwest Passengers Removed From Plane After Engine Catches Fire

A short delay turned into an overnight stay for nearly 150 Southwest passengers when the aircraft they were on aborted its takeoff after an engine caught fire.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the 143 passengers and five crew members were safely evacuated from the aircraft shortly after it began and then halted its takeoff procedure Wednesday evening.

The flight, traveling from Chicago’s Midway Airport to Boston, was finally headed down the runway – after a 30 minute delay – at about 10:45 p.m., when smoke and sparks were seen coming from the right engine.

Chicago Fire Department officials tell the Tribune that fire equipment and six ambulances were dispatched to the scene.

All travelers were able to exit the plane without incident and no injuries were reported.

Commander Frank Velez with the fire department confirmed that the aircraft’s right engine caught fire, but a cause for the incident has not yet been determined.

Passengers on the flight were scheduled to take another airplane to Boston early Thursday, Southwest said.

Southwest plane aborts takeoff at Midway after engine catches fire [Chicago Tribune]