Reports are saying that passengers on a United Airlines plane panicked as they landed at Bush Intercontinental Airport: the plane’s engine had just caught fire.
United Airlines Flight #1168 was heading from Newark to Houston.
“#BREAKING: Plane engine catches fire at Bush airport, no injuries reported https://on.khou.com/2CfHOfN,” local Houston news station, KHOU tweeted above.
According to officials, the plane caught fire as it headed into Houston, a little before 10:30 p.m. Sunday, as ABC News 13 reported.
Some passengers said that they had, in fact, noticed something amiss during the flight.
“I noticed as we were coming into Houston airport, I heard sounds that I don’t normally hear when I fly,” passenger Leonard Weiner said, according to reports.
The plane’s captain told everyone to evacuate, as soon as the incident happened, according to reports.
One other passenger had been unaware of the chaos: Chris Morrison reported that he was actually dozing off. Morrison said he heard a loud bang from the plane that woke him up immediately. Then, a flash of light sparked, as he could see from the window, he said, according to ABC News.
“People were starting to panic,” Morrison said. ” Everyone kept hitting the flight attendant call button.”
Some passengers, not willing to stay on the plane, especially given the traumatic and fatal events of the Ethiopian Airlines crash reported Sunday, jumped out of the plane on emergency slides. The passengers remained on the tarmac about 30 minutes.
They were then escorted to the United Club.
ABC Eyewitness News says that United Airlines released a statement to them concerning the incident:
“United flight 1168 from Newark, New Jersey to Houston experienced an issue with one of the engines shortly before landing,” the statement reportedly said. “After landing safely, customers were evacuated from the aircraft and were bussed to the terminal. Local authorities responded immediately and our maintenance team is currently inspecting the aircraft.”
So, far, an investigation of the incident is unfolding, but no injuries have been reported.
Earlier on Sunday, United Airlines tweeted its condolences to passengers lost on the Ethiopian Airlines flight:
“We are deeply saddened by the tragedy involving our Star Alliance partner, Ethiopian Airlines,” the company said in a statement. “Our sincerest condolences go out to the families and loved ones of the passengers and crew on board Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.”
One the Houston’s airports, terminals, Terminal B, had suffered a closure earlier this year for a few weeks, from Jan. 13 to Jan. 30. The Transportation Security Administration closed the Terminal B checkpoint, during the partial government shutdown. The ticketing counter in Terminal B had also been closed because of TSA staffing issues such as TSA agents calling in sick.
Flights are running per scheduled at the airport now.
This story will be continuously updated on this page.