No cause has been determined so far for the fire in the plane’s engine. But it could have indeed been a disaster had the London-bound plane’s crew and passengers not made a hasty and efficient exit down the inflatable evacuation chutes and had firefighters been slower in dousing the flames.
As it turned out, the fire and smoke did not penetrate the cabin. Chris Jones, a spokesman for the airport, told the Associated Press that all 159 passengers and 13 crew members aboard Flight 2276 headed for London’s Gatwick Airport made it off the plane. Fire officials told the news agency that 14 people suffered minor injuries from sliding down the chutes after the fire broke out shortly after 4 p.m. Pacific time.