Spirit Airlines jet engine catches fire after bird flies into it in NJ; video shows evacuation

Video captured Spirit Airlines evacuation as passengers slid down emergency slides

By6abc Digital Staff WPVI logo
Monday, October 4, 2021
New video shows moment Spirit passengers had to evacuate plane
A total of 102 passengers and seven crew members were on the plane when it caught fire.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- A new video shows the moment passengers in Atlantic City, New Jersey had to escape a plane with one of its engines on fire Saturday.

It happened at about 6 p.m. as a Spirit Airlines plane was departing for Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

As it was accelerating for takeoff, Spirit Airlines said a bird flew into the plane's engine. The pilot was able to stop the plane safely despite the engine catching fire.

SEE ALSO: Passengers forced to evacuate after plane catches fire at Atlantic City International Airport

A Spirit Airlines flight taking off at Atlantic City International Airport had to be emergency evacuated due to a fire caused by a bird strike Saturday evening.

Video showed passengers sliding down the emergency exit to get to safety.

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The pilot was not seriously hurt in the incident that was caught on camera in the Chambers County town.

A total of 102 passengers and seven crew members were on board at the time. Two people suffered minor injuries, officials said.

Spirit Airlines released this statement on the incident:

"Spirit Airlines flight 3044 from Atlantic City to Fort Lauderdale encountered what is believed to be a large bird while accelerating for takeoff in Atlantic City, which entered one of the plane's engines.

"The captain braked safely and brought the plane to a stop, received an indication of damage to the engine, and ordered an evacuation in accordance with our standard procedures.

"All Guests and Team Members evacuated the aircraft and were bussed back to the terminal. We commend our crew for handling the situation swiftly and safely.

"Our Guests will receive full refunds, a future travel voucher and the option of travelling to Fort Lauderdale on another plane tonight."