There were two incidents on Friday involving planes that caught on fire. The first took place on an American Airlines 767 as it was about to takeoff from a runway at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. The plane was filled with passengers as the right side of the plane suddenly became engulfed in flames. With roughly 43,000 lbs. of fuel, the plane could have easily exploded if the flames had made contact with the fuel tank.
Emergency responders to the scene were told that the Number Two engine of the plane had caught on fire. Fortunately, the plane did not take off before the fire was noticed. Instead, the plane immediately stopped on the runway and emergency slides were used to get the passengers off the plane as quickly as possible. The only reported injuries in the incident were from people trying to evacuate the plane quickly and had gotten bumped and bruised from other people.
In a separate incident on Friday afternoon, a FedEx cargo plane at Fort Lauderdale International Airport landed on the runway and then caught on fire. Since it was a cargo plane, the only people on board were the pilot and copilot. The plane had postal mail and FedEx packages throughout most of it. Both of the pilots escaped using an emergency rope ladder so they were not harmed. It was reported that the landing gear had collapsed as soon as it made contact with the runway, which caused the fire. People watching the plane from afar recorded a giant fireball coming from the plane.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating both incidents but they do not believe they are related. This appears to be just a freak coincidence, although it’s still gotten people talking about the trust and safety of airplanes now.