National News

Las Vegas-bound Southwest flight grounded due to engine fire

todayApril 5, 2024

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(LUBBOCK, Texas) — A Southwest flight departing from Lubbock, Texas, returned to the gate shortly after abandoning its takeoff roll when the flight crew reported a possible engine fire, according to a statement from Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport.

Lubbock Fire Rescue responded to reports of an engine failure and fire on Thursday and said crews were working on “extinguishment operations.”

The flight was preparing to depart for Las Vegas but returned to the gate before take-off, according to the airline.

Lisa Powell, a passenger on the flight who spoke with ABC News’ local station KABC, said, “We had gotten to the acceleration part of take-off, about to lift off, and you could hear a ‘thump’ and the plane swerved and we came to a stop.”

“It didn’t seem scary. We thought a tire had blown out … but the pilot came on and said, ‘The engine had ingested something, and a flame had come out,'” Powell told KABC.

She said they had to wait about 10 minutes while the fire department cooled the brakes down before heading back to the gate.

The plane was able to return to the gate using its own power, the city said.

The airport said in a statement all passengers were able to safely deplane and return to the terminal while Southwest worked to accommodate customers and get them on another aircraft.

As of 7 p.m. local time, runway 17R was closed for cleaning and inspection, according to the city.

LFR said there weren’t any reported injuries.

The engine fire comes just one day after a Southwest flight made an emergency landing in Tampa Bay, Florida, due to severe turbulence over the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in two people needing medical attention.

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