144 evacuated as fire breaks out in plane at LA airport

Jeannie Matthews
February 15, 2018

A few days after Christmas, 90 Southwest Airlines Midway flights were canceled due to delays caused by their inability to de-ice planes, according to a statement from the airline at that time. The emergency slides were deployed and the plane's 139 passengers and five crew members were all evacuated safely and the fire was extinguished. Airline officials were working to get the passengers booked Monday night on another flight to San Jose.

It was reported at about 7:30 p.m., Deanne Thompson, an airport spokeswoman, said.

Some people sustained minor injuries but no one needed to be taken to a hospital, Thompson said. While a supply of the de-icing liquid arrived early Monday, a "handful of flights" may still be canceled, she said.

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How can a major airline just say sorry and go on with business as usual? It was located in the auxiliary power unit, which is a small engine in the rear of the plane. Orange County fire officials said the decision to evacuate the aircraft was made out of an abundance of caution.

Due to a fire believed to be in the auxiliary power unit, the plane's crew made a decision to evacuate the plane.

The incident forced authorities at the airport to partially closed the taxiway occupied by the aircraft, although operations resumed as normal shortly afterward.

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