An engine fire forced the runway evacuation of a New York-bound JetBlue flight before it could take off, witnesses and Puerto Rico airport officials said.
Bronx resident Raymond Talavera was among the passengers on Flight 704, and he recounted a chaotic scene in which passengers were shouting and scrambling for the exits before they were open.
“The whole plane shook and there was a loud explosion,” he said. After that, Talavera said, he could see large flames, and panic took hold of the cabin.
The 186 passengers aboard the flight were taken off the plane after the pilot halted the plane Saturday evening, Puerto Rico airport authority official Rolando Padua said in a statement. Firefighters at San Juan's Luis Munoz Marin airport then extinguished the fire.
Three people suffered minor injuries because of the emergency evacuation, Padua said.
Flight 704 had been scheduled to land at John F. Kennedy Airport at 10:37 p.m. Passengers were placed on another plane that arrived in New York early Sunday.