A British Airways jetliner engine caught fire in Las Vegas as the plane was about to leave for London on Tuesday, September 8, forcing the pilots to abort takeoff, but all 172 passengers and crew escaped the smoke and flames that quickly enveloped the aircraft.Several passengers and crew suffered minor injuries and were taken to the hospital as a precaution, a spokeswoman for the airline said. She did not say how many people were injured. The plane carried 159 passengers and a crew of 13.

Passengers were evacuated from the twin-engine, wide-body jet to the runway using emergency slides, officials said. "Our crew evacuated the aircraft safely and the fire was quickly extinguished by the emergency services at the airport," the British Airways spokeswoman said.According to preliminary reports, the plane's left engine burst into flames on takeoff, as per Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration's Pacific Division. British Airways said the plane suffered a technical difficulty.

Jacob Steinberg, a sports journalist for Britain's Guardian newspaper, who was travelling in the same plane tweeted: