Spirit Airlines passengers made a terrifying landing in Atlanta Sunday morning when their plane caught fire on the tarmac after one of the brakes overheated, an airline spokesman confirmed.
Flashes of flame appeared near the aircraft’s tires as clouds of smoke billowed rearward upon landing at Atlanta International Airport around 9:30 a.m. EST, video posted to social media shows.
“Spirit Flight 383 from Tampa to Atlanta landed safely at Atlanta International Airport and one of the brakes overheated on landing,” a spokesman said. “The plane was towed to the gate where the guests disembarked safely and without injury. Thank you to Atlanta first responders for meeting the plane immediately. The plane is temporarily out of service for maintenance.”
A similar statement appeared on the Atlanta Airport Twitter account, noting that the incident was due to brakes catching fire and no injuries were reported.
Video posted on social media that appears to be of a passenger on the flight, shows other passengers who seem to panic and get up from their seats to look out the window, while flight attendants urged them to stay put, saying they haven’t yet had to evacuate. About 45 minutes later, the same user posted a video of a fire truck on site†
Passenger Scottie Nelms told Tampa Bay’s local FOX affiliate that the plane started to make a “weird noise” from the left when landing.
“No one knew what it was until we came to a complete stop in the middle of the runway,” Nelms told FOX 5. “We saw a flame come out of the engine and people and I started to panic.”
This isn’t the airline’s first time dealing with a fire at one of its planes: Last October, passengers were taken off a Spirit flight departing from New Jersey’s Atlantic City International Airport after a “big bird” flew through the engine, causing a jet fire and forcing the pilots to abort the takeoff.