FAA confirmed that the failure of one of the two GE Aviation GE90 engines powering a British Airways Boeing 777-200 caused the airliner to catch fire while taking off from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport earlier today. All 159 passengers and 13 crew evacuated the aircraft safely without any serious injuries and within just five minutes of the fire breaking out.
According to Jacob Steinberg, a reporter with the UK's Guardian newspaper who was on board the flight to London Gatwick Airport, passengers could see and smell smoke in the cabin and several reported seeing windows melting. He said that flight BA2276's captain had told passengers that the fire had been caused by "a catastrophic engine failure."
Spokespeople for British Airways and GE said that the companies are now investigating the accident. The aircraft started its takeoff roll at 4.13 p.m. local time, and all passengers had been evacuated via the 777's slides by 4.18 p.m.