Fireball explodes on Delta jet at Washington airport, prompts evacuation via emergency slides


A video has captured the moment a Delta plane went on fire, forcing people to be evacuated at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport last week. A video obtained by KOMO News revealed how a fireball exploded, with black smoke erupting from the Airbus jet’s nose below the cockpit on April 6.

Fireball explodes on Delta jet at Washington airport (Photographer: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg – representational image)(Bloomberg)

Delta Flight 604 from Cancun, Mexico landed at the Washington airport safely. However, problems arose after the aircraft was plugged into the terminal’s electrical network, with the plug-in shorting out. Sparks were sent flying, and a fire sparked right below the cockpit of the Airbus A321 aircraft, according to a spokesperson for SEA Perry Cooper.

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Cooper said that the pilots called for the emergency exit slides to be opened after they smelled the smoke. A passenger revealed that fliers began to panic when they were asked to evacuate.

“I think people responded to that with panic, there was a little bit of jostling in the aisles to get to the exit,” said Ashwin Menon, a Seattle software engineer who was with his wife at the time. “But overall it was a pretty smooth evacuation process.”

The passengers eventually walked out onto the wing of the plane and then stepped onto the inflatable chutes, sliding to safety.

“It was like just jump out, jump onto the slides, and within a couple minutes everyone was out,” Menon said. “I was calmer than I thought I would be. I’m quite afraid of flying.”

‘Kudos to the airline crew’

Cooper said that while two-thirds of the 189 passengers exited via the slides, the others went through the passenger loading bridge. The fire went out on its own. A few people were evaluated for possible injuries they may have sustained during the slide, but no one needed medical care at the hospital.

The passengers arrived into the terminal via a stairway to the loading bridge. They then went to international arrivals processing and customs.

“Out of an abundance of caution, slides were deployed and passengers still on board deplaned via the rear of the aircraft. Passengers were fully evacuated, and those deplaned to the ramp returned to the terminal via the ramp stairs,” Delta said in a statement. “The aircraft has been removed from service for inspection and maintenance.”

The electrical cord that malfunctioned is operating fine after being repaired. “Kudos to the airline crew who reacted as trained with an abundance of caution,” Cooper told New York Post. “Rather have a little inconvenience than something that could have turned worse.” An investigation is underway to determine the exact cause of the fire.

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