An Aerolíneas Argentinas plane was due to take off late last night (11pm local time) when it suddenly burst into flames on the runway at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK).
According to the company, the aircraft, which was supposed to be travelling to Buenos Aires, experienced “a fault in its engine, which happens very rarely.” Unsurprisingly, the plane had to abort its ascent but it was not necessary to make a hasty evacuation and no injuries have been reported.
Estamos todos bien! Estaba filmando despegue explotó y se prendió fuego el motor dl avión. Muy bien manejada la situación x la tripulación. pic.twitter.com/4VoxSi075E
— Axel (@AxelOficial) February 10, 2017
Passengers on the Aerolíneas Argentinas flight 1301 heard a loud explosion as they waited to take off on the runway, while witnesses on other flights observed the blaze. Argentine singer Axel Fernando, who was coincidentally filming his departure from JFK, captured a video of the sudden explosion. Posting the footage on social media, he captioned it: “We are all fine.”
Yeah so I’m on the runway about to take off and another plane just landed next to us and IT WAS ON FUCKING FIRE LIKE LITERAL FIRE pic.twitter.com/vE7uykFH98
— Alice X. Zhang (@alicexz) February 10, 2017
The flight was scheduled to leave JFK at 3:25PM local time but was delayed until 10pm due to the heavy snow that hit New York on Wednesday night. The plane began to taxi to take off at 10:40PM. At this point, the plane’s second engine reportedly overheated, causing it to burst into flames.
An element of mystery was added to the events of last night after emergency services rushed to the site, having been notified by the pilot, and fire crews were left baffled, as they found “no evidence” of a fire on board. Initially, a spokesperson from Aerolineas Argentinas allegedly told La Nación that “there was no fire, as was incorrectly reported.” The footage begs to differ.
— Dario Epstein (@DarioEpstein) February 10, 2017
It has now been confirmed, however, that “fire was present in the engine” but that the aircraft itself “is not damaged.”
One passenger who had been hoping to fly to Buenos Aires last night explained to the press that the airline had offered the passengers accommodation after the incident. “The people [on the plane] were scared but the crew handled the situation well,” said Dario Epstein.
Following the blaze, JFK airport authorities closed the runway and several emergency vehicles arrived at the scene to provide assistance. The plane was taxied back to the gate for a more thorough examination.
— Jason Rabinowitz (@AirlineFlyer) February 10, 2017