Engire Fire Grounds Southwest Flight Set for Los Angeles

Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport said that a Southwest aircraft from Lubbock, Texas, went back to the gate soon after abandoning its takeoff due to reports of a probable engine fire.

Crews from Lubbock Fire Rescue are now engaged in fire extinguishment operations after responding to reports of an engine failure and a fire on Thursday.  The airline said the plane did not take off as planned because it circled back to the gate without taking off for Las Vegas, Nevada.

According to a passenger who spoke with local news, the jet swerved and stopped just as the acceleration portion of takeoff was about to begin.  She heard a noise, and the plane veered off course.  They thought a tire had blown out, but the pilot made an announcement saying that something was sucked into the engine, which caused a flame to appear.  They were delayed for ten minutes while the brakes cooled off before returning to the gate.

No injuries were recorded.

The city said that the jet successfully returned to the gate under its own power and that runway 17R was closed to conduct cleaning and inspection.

According to the airport’s statement, Southwest tried to meet customers’ needs by placing them on another plane.

The engine fire occurred the day after two passengers on a Southwest aircraft were taken ill when the plane made a forced landing in Tampa Bay, Florida, owing to intense turbulent conditions over the Gulf of Mexico.

In recent months, Boeing has been under fire for problems with several of its aircraft.

In January, an urgent landing at Portland International Airport in Oregon was necessary for an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 after a section of its fuselage was ripped off. Airline officials later announced that all 737 MAX 9 aircraft will be grounded.

Cirium, an aviation analytics firm, reports that three airlines, United, American Airlines, and Southwest, use the airport in Texas, with 131 weekly departures.