The Spirit Airlines fire is now under investigation by the United States National Transportation Safety Board. Spirit Flight 165 began experiencing mechanical failure after yesterday’s takeoff from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
The captain reports that he returned to the Dallas airport and completed a “normal landing.” The plane’s 150 passengers were unharmed but terribly frightened. Passengers report watching the engine burst into flames and explode.
Passenger Fred Edwards said the explosion shook the entire plane. He said the massive flames “lit up the whole inside of the plane.” As reported by CBS Atlanta, Edwards said “it looked like the whole inside of the plane was on fire.”
As reported by CBS News, many passengers feared for their lives. Casey Rogers’ wife Ashlee was waiting at the airport. His text messages underline his intense fear:
“…I love you make sure my kids know that forever… the plane it’s full of smoke… the engine has stop… whole plane is shaking… I love you don’t forget it… Pray for me.”
Rogers applauded the crew’s reaction to the incident. He said their professional demeanor throughout the situation was commendable.
The passengers were assessed for injury and transferred to another plane to continue their journey to Atlanta.
Officials are in the process of investigating the Spirit Airlines fire. As reported by Examiner, Spirit spokeswoman Misty Pinson said the pilot handled the situation according to protocol. Despite witness accounts, she said there was no evidence that the engine exploded or caught fire.
At this time it is being referred to as a mechanical failure. Airline officials said the plane’s second engine remained undamaged, allowing for a safe landing.
The Spirit Airlines fire was a frightening experience for everyone on board and waiting at the airport. Although tragedy was avoided, the details are still being investigated and debated.
[Image via Wikimedia]