When rescuers arrived to the scene of a plane that had rolled off a Texas runway and caught on fire Tuesday morning, nearly two dozen people had already exited the burning aircraft, authorities said.
There were no deaths or major injuries in the incident, but crews had to rush to extinguish the fire, which had engulfed the plane, a McDonnell Douglas MD-87. Dramatic footage of the fire showed black smoke billowing from the charred remains of the aircraft as crews attempted to extinguish the fire.
“I think we can all agree we can celebrate on today that no one was killed in this horrific incident,” said Sgt. Stephen Woodard, spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The plane, carrying 21 people and traveling from Texas to the AL Championship Series game in Boston, was attempting to take off from Houston Executive Airport and traveled about 500 feet on the runway before it rolled through a fence and caught fire in a field, officials said.
“We did find that all the passengers had self-extricated,” said Tim Gibson, director of Waller-Harris Emergency Services District 20. “We absolutely, positively got the best outcome we could have hoped for.”
One passenger reported back pain, Waller County Judge Trey Duhon said on Facebook. Duhon is the highest elected official in the county.
Two people with minor injuries were taken to a hospital and returned to the airport, CNN reported.
Cheryl McCaskill, who lives in the Houston suburb of Cypress, was aboard the plane. She told the Houston Chronicle that she felt “shaky and shocked” after running from the burning jet in her Astros jersey.
“When it finally stopped, everyone went ‘get out, get out, get out.’ We jumped out on that inflatable thing and then everyone went ‘get away,’” McCaskill said.
Gibson said crews assisted the passengers from the field after they got themselves out of the plane.
“They were very, very stunned,” he said.
Emergency crews extinguished the blaze after employing “a lot of foam,” Gibson said.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.
Utility company CenterPoint Energy told ABC13 that the plane took out an overhead power line, temporarily disrupting service to about 1,800 customers.
Contributing: The Associated Press