A number of passengers who claim to have been left with physical injuries and psychological difficulties, after escaping a British Airways plane fire earlier this month, have decided to take legal action.
Reports claim that up to 40 passengers from the flight are seeking damages from the airline after the plane they were on – a Boeing 777-200 – caught fire on a runway at Las Vegas’s McCarran International Airport.
Initial health and safety investigations into the incident have flagged up that there were “multiple breaches” in the aircraft’s engine casing, which, if confirmed, could have been responsible.
Steve Bingham, from Northern Ireland, who was one of the 159 passengers on board, has claimed to have suffered an arm injury, smoke inhalation and “regular flashbacks” after evacuating the plane.
Mr Bingham, who is said to be taking prescribed medication in order to cope with his flashbacks, said: “Many people were screaming, with some then shouting about fire.
“Then I saw thick black smoke from the windows on both sides of the aircraft, but the cabin crew were still telling us to stay seated at that point. Seconds later, the pilot ordered the evacuation.
“Once out of the plane, the staff were screaming at us to run away. I started to run and looked back towards the plane to see that it was on fire with flames reaching twice the height of the aircraft.
“All I could think was that if it reaches the fuel tanks and explodes we will be killed.”
In total, 27 passengers, including all crew members, were taken to hospital so they could be examined for minor physical injuries.
A spokeswoman for British Airways stated that the airline will not be responding to claims about the incident, including plane evacuation, due to the fact that it will all be included in the full investigation being carried out by the National Transportation Safety Board.