Another Passenger Sues After 2016 Plane Fire at O'Hare

Kathy and her husband Peter were sitting in row 29 of American Airlines flight 383 last October 28, bound for Miami, when the right engine exploded on takeoff. With the right side of the aircraft engulfed in flames, the captain managed to stop on O’Hare’s runway 28 right, just as the giant jetliner reached takeoff speed. Phil Rogers reports. (Published Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017)

Another passenger has filed a lawsuit against Boeing and American Airlines after the airplane she was on caught fire last year on the O’Hare International Airport tarmac when part of the engine failed.

About 20 people were taken to hospitals after the right engine of Miami-bound American Airlines Flight 383 broke into four pieces about 2:30 p.m. Oct. 28, 2016, according to fire officials and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Newly released video obtained by NBC 5 Investigates shows just how close an American Airlines jetliner came to disaster when an engine exploded on takeoff last October. Phil Rogers reports.

(Published Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017)

The suit filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court also names General Electric Aviation as a defendant, claiming the company sold faulty engines that Boeing used to assemble the 767 aircraft.

The plaintiff, Emily Schnoll, was seated in a row that was adjacent to the area where the engine caught fire, according to the suit. As a result, she was “violently thrown about the cabin and then caused to endure smoke from the engine failure entering the cabin area.”

Due to her inability to evacuate the plane in a timely manner, Schnoll also claims to have suffered “emotional and physical distress.” In addition, the suit claims that Schnoll was unlawfully detained by police at O’Hare following the incident.

Representatives for Boeing and GE did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday evening.

The NTSB has released a lengthy report on a fire on an airplane at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, and it reveals the frightening details of the case. NBC 5 Investigates’ Phil Rogers has the latest on what the report has to say.

(Published Thursday, July 6, 2017)

An NTSB report issued after the fire said one of the fractures on the turbine disk of the engine was “consistent with fatigue cracking.” Takeoff was aborted due to the “uncontained engine failure” that led to fuel pooling under the plane’s right wing, which then burst into flames, authorities said.

One piece of the turbine disk went through the inboard section of the right wing, over the fuselage and into a UPS warehouse facility more than a half-mile away. Another piece was found about 1,600 feet away, but it was still on O’Hare property, authorities said.

No fire breached the cabin, and the 20 hospitalized passengers were released a night after the fire.

“We’re proud of our pilots, flight attendants and other team members who responded quickly to take care of our customers under very challenging circumstances,” a representative for American said in an emailed statement. “American is actively participating in the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation and will continue to work with the NTSB and the other parties to the investigation of this event.”

In November 2016, 18 passengers filed suit claiming American, Boeing and GE acted negligently.

The latest five-count negligence suit seeks more than $250,000 in damages.