Damaged plane engine prompts emergency landing of flight from Nevada to Florida

LAS VEGAS, Nevada (KTRK) -- Authorities say a commercial passenger jet bound for Tampa, Florida returned safely to Las Vegas with engine cover damage just minutes after takeoff.

Jazmin Pedraza described a chaotic scene onboard Frontier Flight 260 from Las Vegas to Tampa, Florida.

Passengers first noticed an issue when it began smelling like fuel before take-off.

She says, "Once the plane turned on and the air vents started flowing, a few of us were talking about how it smelled like fuel as we backed up to start to take off. It was quite shakey."

Then, when the plane started accelerating, they saw engine pieces flying and the engine on fire.

McCarran International Airport spokeswoman Christine Crews says emergency crews found debris on the runway while the aircraft taxied to a gate under its own power.

Pedraza says, "One man started yelling, causing everyone to start yelling for assistance and frantically pressing the buttons for the them to stop the plane but we had already started taking off."

Airline spokeswoman Allison Redmon says an engine cover cowling came loose and separated from the aircraft.

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"Once we got the attention of the flight attendant, she came and looked out of our windows to see what was going on and then went to call the pilot and got the passengers under control. Everyone started making phone calls to their loved ones and crying and panicking."

They were in the air for another 10 to 15 minutes before the pilots could make an emergency landing.

No injuries were reported.

Redmon says passengers were given refunds and were being re-booked on other airlines.
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