Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) flight 3299 aborted takeoff after one of its engines caught fire shortly after it got on the runway.
Some of the passengers reported that they saw smoke and flames coming out of the engine just before the plane was about to lift off. Luckily the pilot also saw the problem and acted quickly and soon brought the plane to a halt. One of the passengers by the name Stephen Calabrese reported that the plane was speeding at about 125mph when he heard what he claimed to be an explosion. The force from the other engine almost forced the plane off the runway, but the pilot used a rudder to correct the motion.
A total of 143 passengers exited the plane safely and were escorted back to the terminal while firefighters quickly got into action and put out the fire. Frank Velez, a spokesman from the Chicago fire department, reported that no one on the plane was hurt, and the firemen were able to handle quickly the situation.
Later on the passengers from flight 3299 were put on a different flight though some of them seemed shaken up by the incident. The cause of the engine malfunction has not been identified yet, and Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV)s is currently investigating the situation. Chances are that it is just a minor problem in the engine. However, the incident that took place on Thursday morning raised a lot of questions especially because it happened one day after United Airlines experienced a major technical flaw.
Earlier in the week, the New York Stock Exchange had experienced a system failure. Though officials maintain that the three incidences are not related, it is rather peculiar that they took place in such quick succession. It is also bad for business especially for the airline industry because many travelers might get discouraged and decide not to travel. Not to mention the inconveniences that comes from such situations. The United Airlines identified that the problem was caused by a faulty router.