FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A FedEx plane caught fire Friday afternoon at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Broward Sheriff’s Office Department of Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said firefighters were called to the airport shortly before 6 p.m. after smoke was seen coming from the plane.
A photo sent to Local 10 News shows the plane on fire. The fire has since been extinguished.
According to Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen, the landing gear on the DC-10 aircraft collapsed, causing a fire as the plane was rolling on Runway 10 Left.
“I think the pilot did a pretty good job of keeping it close to the runway, but of course you can see the ball of fire and with all that fuel, that was a pretty big explosion,” said Stephen Lloyd, former safety director for the FAA.
Bergen said the plane had just arrived from Memphis, Tennessee.
She said both pilots escaped from the plane.
A ground stop was in effect at the airport until Fire Rescue cleared the scene.
The plane had 40,000 pounds of fuel on it when it was coming in to land. The north runway was damaged, but the extent of the damage was not known.
The airport was re-opened at 7 p.m. Friday, but only the south runway is operating. Authorities said the north runway will remain closed. A timetable on when it may reopen was not given.
A dozen or so flights were diverted to area airports. The airport is operating, but passengers there can expect some delays.
A National Transportation Safety Board team was headed in to investigate.
ABC Local 10 News
A Fedex Federal Express McDonnell Douglas MD-10, registration N370FE performing freight flight FX-910 from Memphis,TN to Fort Lauderdale,FL (USA) with 2 crew, landed on Fort Lauderdale’s runway 10L at 17:50L (21:50Z). Tower reported the left hand engine (CF6) appeared on fire. The aircraft came to a stop about 2000 meters/6580 feet down the runway at and beyond the left hand edge with the left main gear collapsed and the left hand wing on a large fire. The airport closed all runways while emergency services responded to put the fire out. There were no injuries, the aircraft received substantial damage.
The FAA reported the left main gear collapsed during the landing roll out resulting in a fire.
The aerodrome was closed until about 19:00L (23:00Z), then opened the southern runway with the northern runway remaining closed.
The Aviation Herald