On 8 September 2015 a Boeing 777-236ER operated by British Airways was in the process of taking off from Las Vegas McCarran International Airport with an intended destination of London Gatwick. As the plane was taking off, the left engine suffered a catastrophic failure resulting in a serious fire. The take-off was aborted at high speed and all 170 passengers and crew on board were evacuated from the aircraft. As a result of this terrifying accident, a number of passengers suffered physical and psychological injuries.

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) opened an investigation into this accident and published their initial findings on 10 September. Initial examinations suggest that the left engine revealed multiple breaches of the engine case in the area around the high pressure compressor. Moreover, examination of the material recovered from runway found several pieces of the high pressure compressor spool (approximately 7-8 inches in length). On 6 October, a second update released by the NTSB revealed that investigators disassembled the engine and found that the high-pressure compressor (HPC) section of the engine had failed, liberating fragments that breached the engine case and cowling. While the crew should be commended for their response, it is vitally important that the full chain of events that led to this serious emergency is established so that lessons can be learned and similar incidents can be prevented in the future.

Irwin Mitchell represents and is advising a large group of passengers and is preparing to bring legal action in America against entities who have caused or contributed to the accident. If you would like to speak in confidence to an expert regarding this accident, or any other aviation incident you were involved in, please contact a member of the Aviation team on 0800 056 4110. The team will be able to advise you on the accident, the relevant law and the parties who may be liable.

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