Fire Ignites as Philly-Bound Plane Heads to Runway at Seattle Airport

A fire erupted on an American Airlines plane as it left the gate and headed for the runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Wednesday, but the blaze was quickly extinguished, officials said.

No one was injured, and none of the 151 passengers or six crew members en route to Philadelphia was evacuated, the airline said.

The Airbus A320 was on the taxiway going toward the runway when smoke started coming out of the back of the plane, airport spokesman Brian DeRoy said. A spark in the auxiliary power unit just below the tail section started a small fire, he said.

The Port of Seattle Fire Department responded and put out the fire. The plane made it back to the gate under its own power, airline spokesman Ross Feinstein said.

The flames were reported coming out of an extra power unit used for functions such as lighting and air conditioning while the main engines are turned off. On larger planes, the units help start the engines.

An airline maintenance team was inspecting the plane, but he had no immediate word on the cause of the fire, Feinstein said.

He said the airline apologized to passengers for the inconvenience.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us