A Delta Airlines flight departing John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California caught on fire just prior to take off Tuesday afternoon.
Authorities received reports of an issue involving Delta Flight 447, which was headed for Atlanta, around 1:30 p.m., according to Orange County Fire Authority.
Officials say one of the engines on the Boeing 757-200 caught on fire as the plane was positioned at the beginning of the runway. 172 passengers and crew were on board at the time.
Video from inside the cabin shows plumes of heavy black smoke billowing from underneath the plane’s wing.
“The right side engine blew off as we were halfway down the runway and kind of skidded off the road,” said Tim Carlson, one of the passengers. “We saw a big burst of flames and then black smoke.”
“We were pushed back in the seat and [I heard] a really loud bang and it scared me,” said passenger Tom Vanderwall. “I fly a lot, but it still scared me.”
Vanderwall said the pilot braked immediately, stopping the plane and shutting down the engine.
The pilot initiated an extinguishing system while emergency crews were able to extinguish the flames. The aircraft was eventually towed back to a boarding gate so passengers could deplane.
Passengers and fire officials say it’s fortunate the issue occurred before the plane had taken flight.
“Yeah, it’s something you don’t want to think about,” said Carlson. “You don’t want to think negative thoughts, but 30 seconds later, it could’ve been a different story.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation. No injuries were reported.
Delta Airlines released a statement on the incident saying:
“Delta flight 447, set to operate service from John Wayne Airport (SNA) to Atlanta returned to the gate prior to takeoff following an apparent engine maintenance issue. The aircraft was met by local maintenance personnel for further evaluation. We apologize to our customers for this inconvenience and are working to get them to their final destinations as quickly as possible.”