Plane Catches Fire in Fla., Passengers Evacuated

SANFORD, Fla. --

Almost 150 people had to evacuate a jet that caught fire at Orlando-Sanford International Airport on Friday morning. The problems started just after the plane pushed off from the gate and headed to the runway with 142 passengers and five crew members on board. When they fired up the engines, one of them caught on fire.

After a frightening ordeal for a passenger jet filled with people, the fire foam covered the tarmac at Orlando-Sanford airport. The problem engine was open as mechanics examined it; the company still does not know what happened.

"Scary, yes. Family is a little worried, but we're all OK," passenger Susan Chrostowski said.

The engine that caught fire was on the tail of the aircraft, so passengers didn't see the fire; they only knew they were going back to the gate and there was smoke in the fuselage.

"When we got off, we could smell that something was burning," Chrostowski said.

No one was injured and passengers had to wait just few hours for the airline to prepare another jet to take the passengers on to Roanoke, Virginia. One passenger WFTV spoke to made the second flight after missing the ill-fated first attempt.

"I went to Orlando thinking that Allegiant flew out of Orlando," Sherrie Baker said.

Baker said she watched the drama through the windows at the gate.

"When I went up and found all the firefighters and policemen, I went, uh-oh, that's not a good sign," she said.

WFTV checked to see how often this kind of thing happens and only had to look back two months. The same thing actually happened in Roanoke on an Allegiant Air flight; a pilot noticed fire before take off and the plane was evacuated.

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