British Airways Las Vegas Fire: Lawyers Praise ‘Immediate And Skilful’ Action

Aviation Experts Also Call For Support For Affected Passengers To Be Priority

09.09.2015

Specialist lawyers who represent victims injured in aviation incidents across the globe have praised the “immediate and skilful” action of emergency services and the crew on board the British Airways Flight 2276 which caught fire at Las Vegas airport, with at least 13 people left injured.

The US Federal Aviation Administration stated the left engine of the Boeing 777-200 caught fire shortly before take-off on its flight to London’s Gatwick Airport, with the incident leading to the evacuation of all 172 people on board.

According to the BBC, at least 13 people were taken to Las Vegas Sunrise hospital, with many suffering minor injuries during the evacuation process using inflatable chutes.

Following the incident, Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Aviation Law team have urged authorities in the US to ensure that swift efforts are made to understand the primary causes behind the fire.

Expert Opinion
“It is incredibly worrying to see the reports of the incident in Las Vegas.

“Reports indicate that the Boeing 777 aircraft suffered a catastrophic left engine failure during take-off which led to a very serious fire. This type of emergency involving an aircraft that is heavily laden with fuel is extremely serious and requires immediate and skilful action from the crew, to bring the aircraft to an emergency stop and evacuate the aircraft before the fire spreads.

“It is crucial that the aviation investigators identify what the cause of the engine failure was and why this resulted in such a serious fire. Turbine jet engines can fail for a number of reasons, including failure of the turbine blades which rotate at high velocities. When a turbine blade fails and detaches, it can penetrate through engine and other components, including fuel and hydraulic pipes, which can then lead to a fire and degradation of the flying control systems on the aircraft. It is to be hoped that the investigators will quickly identify what caused this accident so that appropriate measures can be taken to improve flight safety.

“Fortunately it has been reported that that no one was seriously injured, however, the key concern at present must be ensuring that all of those involved are given the support they need. As we have seen from previous incidents of this nature, passengers and crew may suffer physical injuries from the evacuation slide but can also suffer respiratory and other problems if they have been exposed to any toxic fumes produced by the fire.

“In addition, the psychological impact of such a serious emergency is not to be underestimated, as people can endure lasting mental trauma as a result of aviation incidents of this nature. As such counselling and other relevant support may also be a necessity.

“Although the outcome of this British Airways emergency could have been significantly worse, it is crucial that lessons are promptly learned to prevent another similar incident, which could lead to catastrophic fatalities and injuries."
Jim Morris, Partner

Irwin Mitchell’s Aviation law team has vast experience in acting for injured victims and the families of those killed in aviation incidents across the globe, including a Jet 2 Boeing 737 take off emergency due to fumes, an Air Berlin A330 Airbus catastrophic engine failure shortly after take-off and most recently the Germanwings A320 Airbus tragedy.

The team also represented survivors and the families of those killed who recently received an apology from British Airways on the 30th anniversary of the Manchester Air Disaster, when 55 people were killed after exposure to toxic smoke following an engine fire on a British Airtours jet.