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Passenger Chaos After American Engine Explosion, Fire

08 July 2017

Out of 170 people aboard, one person suffered a serious injury and 19 had minor injuries, according to NTSB. It was on the runway when a right side engine erupted and torched the starboard side of the plane.

Flight attendants told investigators they were hesitant to open the doors until the pilots confirmed the engines were shutdown. The investigation could take months longer before reaching those conclusions.

A passenger in seat 43C told investigators "about 20 passengers were standing around the last exit door on the left side yelling for the crew to open the door and get out".

After the woman returned to her seat, she accused someone on the plane of throwing water in her face.

Pilots activated emergency brakes.

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A flight attendant told the NTSB: "The cabin began filling with smoke and she was concerned the airplane was heavy with fuel and could possibly become engulfed in flames". "Once the door was open he could see passengers rolling across the runway behind the engine and the slide blowing to the rear". A disc in the right engine broke apart and hurled pieces up to a half-mile away. This incident was remarkable because the fire did not stay contained within the engine nacelle and could have resulted in the loss of all aboard had the crew been unable to effect a speedy evacuation. The captain described the checklist as "cumbersome". He said he posted two videos to Facebook after the woman threatened a flight attendant.

A rotating disk within the General Electric CF6-80 engine had an "internal inclusion", meaning foreign debris became embedded within the nickel- and chromium-based alloy created to withstand the heat and high stresses of a jet engine, according to the NTSB.

The FBI's Atlanta office, which would have jurisdiction in the incident, did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The flight crew also told safety officials several passengers complicated the evacuation by refused to leave their luggage behind. It came to a stop about 25 seconds later.

The fire burned so hot that the right wing partially collapsed.

Passenger Chaos After American Engine Explosion, Fire