Investigators said the fire that forced a British Airways flight to abort its takeoff in Las Vegas on Tuesday was a rare catastrophic failure based on jet engine parts found on the runway, the Associated Press reported.
Preliminary findings show the failure occurred where the engine was under the highest pressure, although probers could not as yet pinpoint the cause.
None of the 157 passengers and 13 crew members of Flight 2276 were serious injured in the incident.
“You really don’t see catastrophic or uncontained engine failure like this very often,” aviation safety consultant John Cox was quoted as saying.
He said the failure indicates parts sliced through the casing of the Boeing 777 engine.
The National Transportation Safety Board said there was damage to the armored shell around the left engine’s high-pressure compressor, and several 7- to 8-inch fragments of the compressor were found on the tarmac.
Pilot Chris Henkey, of Padworth, England, told NBC News that he has decided to retire from his 42-year service, although he had earlier planned to do one more flight.
He will no longer pilot what was to be his final flight to Barbados, where he intended to vacation with his daughter.
Henkey, 63, received praises from officials and colleagues for his flawless reaction and evacuation of the aircraft. He said the entire crew helped.
The whole ordeal lasted about five minutes, AP said.
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