Hundreds evacuated from 747 at Phoenix airport

Author: By Bob Christie, Associated Press

No serious injuries were reported among the 298 passengers and 18 crew when
the incident occurred at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport at about 8
pm local time, Phoenix Fire Department Capt. Shelly Jamison said.

About 15 people who were on board Flight 288 were evaluated for minor scrapes
and bruises, but only one person was taken to a hospital with shoulder pain.

The jumbo jet had just pushed back from the gate when smoke was reported in
the cabin, Jamison said. When fire crews arrived minutes later, the
passengers and crew had already used escape slides to leave the jet and were
on the tarmac next to the terminal.

Fire crews found light smoke in the cabin and in the cargo compartment, but no
fire was discovered, Jamison said. No official cause has been determined,
but she said fire crews on the scene believed the smoke and smell were
likely caused by an electrical problem.

British Airways and the airport sent a bus to take the passengers back to the
terminal.

KTVK-TV quoted one passenger as saying smoke was seeping out from under his
seat, while a female passenger described an an acrid odor that didn’t smell
like smoke.

Airport operations were not affected.

“There were minor injuries obviously ? scrapes and bruises related to the
evacuation, but other than that I don’t have concrete numbers,” airport
spokeswoman Alisa Smith said.

British Airways has one daily nonstop flight from Phoenix to London’s Heathrow
airport that departs in the evening. Airline spokesman John Lampl said there
were three pilots and 15 flight attendants on board.

“We’ll put up the passengers (overnight) and hopefully they’ll send a
replacement plane in the morning,” Lampl said.

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