Newark Airport Reopens After Engine Fire Forced Closure | NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Newark Airport Reopens After Engine Fire Forced Closure

The engine of United Airlines flight 1579 caught fire and the crew had to pop open the chutes and evacuate passengers

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    An airplane fire in the engine at Newark Airport completely shut down the airport, but it has since reopened. John Chandler reports.

    (Published Wednesday, May 24, 2017)

    Newark Airport was temporarily closed Tuesday night after a plane's engine caught fire, forcing the evacuation of its passengers using emergency chutes, officials said. 

    The airport reopened shortly before 11 p.m., but the airport said passengers should expect delays throughout the night and into Wednesday morning. 

    The engine of United Airlines flight 1579 caught fire and the crew had to pop open the chutes and evacuate passengers, officials said. 

    United spokesman Jonathan Guerin said air traffic control notified the crew about flames coming from the right engine of the San Francisco-bound plane. 

    "The crew immediately deployed the slides and evacuated the aircraft," Guerin  said. 

    “You could smell the plane – like gas,” one passenger said. “The flight attendant told us to evacuate the plane, to come out the left side of the plane and go down the slides.”

    The passenger said it was uplifting to see passengers helping one another exit the plane. 

    Seven crew members and 124 passengers were on the plane, according to officials. 

    Five people suffered minor injuries, it's believed, during the evacuation. One of the injuries was described as a fall, officials said.  

    The fire was extinguished by airport firefighters, and the passengers and crew were being bused to Terminal C, Gate 71. They were said to be at the United Club at 11 p.m. 

    The aircraft was to be towed into a company hangar for inspection.