British Airways BA2276 Catches Fire at Las Vegas


Closer view of the damage on the left side of the plane

A British Airways 777 headed from Las Vegas to London as flight BA2276 had a rejected take off this afternoon due to what appears to be fire in the left engine. Following that fire, at which point the aircraft braked hard to stop its departure roll, it appears that the main landing gear caught on fire. There is significant smoke damage on both sides of the aircraft at the wing join of the fuselage. UPDATE: Seeing additional photos now which suggest the landing gear was not involved in the fire. But it definitely spread into the fuselage and right side of the plane also shows impact.

 

Lots of smoke damage visible. Note that the slide at 2L was not used for evac; 2R was suggesting the fire was the left engine.
Lots of smoke damage visible. Note that the slide at 2L was not used for evac; 2R was suggesting the fire was the left engine.
Closer view of the damage on the left side of the plane
Closer view of the damage on the left side of the plane

I happened to be inbound from San Francisco when out pilots mentioned that there might be some small delays into Las Vegas but they did not offer any additional information. I spoke with them after the landing and they indicated that they were informed a runway was out of service but that they did not have more details than that. They didn’t know about the fire until they also saw it when we arrived.

Listening to the ATC transcript (start around 10:55) it is clear that the controllers knew of the problem even before it was reported by the pilots. The first go around is called at 12:40 in the transcript in the background as BA2276 appears to say “stopping” in the cross talk there. At 13:00 the BA flight calls “mayday” and requests fire services. At 14:04 the BA aircraft indicates that there is a fire and that an evacuation is underway. At that point emergency services are further cleared to runway 7L where the BA plane was evacuating.

After we landed I turned on my phone (didn’t bother paying for the wifi on the short hop) and saw reports flowing in on Twitter of the event. I turned out the window and the BA plane was directly visible. A bit of a scramble to get my camera out of my bag but I grabbed a couple decent shots of the damaged aircraft. The structure under the skin is showing through and the space around the windows (seats 10 or 11A) looks to be deformed as well. The good news is that everyone evacuated safely and only a couple injuries were reported.

A bit of “right place at the right time” to grab those photos; I wasn’t even booked on that flight when I woke up this morning.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

5 Comments

    1. Not really IMO. The pilots need to make sure that the plane is shut down such that the evac won’t lead passengers into more danger. The FAs similarly need to look out the windows to make sure that popping an exit will be safe. Note that 2L was not used in this evac based on such an evaluation. Perhaps the worst thing to do in a crisis situation is panic and react without following the check-lists.

      As for the fire crew, it was dispatched even before the aircraft called in its problems. The ATC controller had that running and the go arounds happening before the pilot contacted the tower.

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