Passengers on a United flight evacuated via emergency slide at Newark Airport Tuesday night after the control tower spotted a fire in one of the plane’s engines.
Five minor injuries were reported, a United spokesperson told Travel + Leisure.
The flight, which was scheduled to depart around 8:30 p.m. for San Francisco, was waiting in a lineup for takeoff. As the plane was taxiing, the airport tower noticed a fire in one of the Boeing 757’s engines. They alerted the pilot who instructed cabin crew to begin emergency evacuation procedure at about 9:20 p.m.
There were 124 passengers and seven crew members on the flight.
Flight crew immediately inflated the emergency slides and instructed passengers to leave as fast as possible.
“We went down the slides as they screamed, 'Get away from the plane! Go down the slides and run away from the plane!'" one passenger told Gothamist.
Emergency response teams arrived at the scene to put out the fire and treat passengers with injuries. Once all passengers were accounted for, they boarded a bus back to the terminal, where they waited at the United Lounge.
“We’re grateful for the swift actions of our flight crew and we’re thankful customers were safe,” United said in a statement.
Newark was closed for one hour and flights rerouted to nearby airports as grounds crew dealt with the fire.
The flight left the airport on a new aircraft at 1:35 a.m. Passengers arrived in San Francisco at 3:42 a.m., four hours after their originally scheduled arrival.