Engineers flying to Phoenix to inspect 747 that filled with smoke

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UPDATE: British Airways is flying a team of engineers from London to Phoenix to inspect a Boeing 747 that filled with smoke before takeoff, forcing hundreds of passengers to escape on the plane's emergency slides.

Airline spokesman John Lampl says the 298 passengers who were on board Flight 288 as it prepared to take off late Friday were being rebooked onto Saturday flights to London from Phoenix, Los Angeles or Denver.

More than a dozen people suffered minor injuries when they used the jumbo jet's inflatable slides to evacuate. Lampl says one passenger and one of the 18 crew members were hospitalized overnight but were being released Saturday.

A Phoenix Fire Department spokeswoman says no fire was found and crews suspect an electrical problem.

PHOENIX (AP) -- Hundreds of passengers on board a British Airways Boeing 747 preparing to depart for London from Phoenix were forced to use slides to evacuate on Friday night after fumes filled the cabin.


Smoke fills plane just before take-off

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A fire official says no serious injuries were reported among the passengers and crew who evacuated the jet at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport at about 8 p.m. MST (11 p.m. EST). British Airways spokesman John Lampl says 298 passengers, 15 flight attendants and three pilots were on board Flight 288. The jet was preparing to fly to Heathrow airport outside London.

Phoenix Fire Department Capt. Shelly Jamison says about 15 people were evaluated for minor scrapes and bruises, but only one person was taken to a hospital with shoulder pain.

Jamison says the jumbo jet had just pushed back from the gate when light smoke was reported in the cabin. No active fire was located.

Fire crews reported that the smoke may have been from an electrical problem, but the cause is under investigation. They found smoke in the cabin and the cargo compartment. One passenger said smoke was pouring into the cabin from under his seat.

The huge jumbo jet is now sitting next to a boarding ramp with its evacuation slides deployed. It is surrounded by emergency crews.

Airport operations weren't affected.

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