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Tires of Plane Catch Fire in CA Landing

Tires of Plane Catch Fire in CA Landing

In this June 2, 2010, a JetBlue airplane takes off from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. [AP]

Associated Press

August 29, 2010

SACRAMENTO — The tires of a JetBlue airplane caught fire yesterday during a hard landing in Sacramento that sent passengers down emergency slides to escape the aircraft and left 15 people with minor injuries.

Passenger Michelle McDuffie said people onboard felt a thud when the plane touched down at about 12:50 p.m. after a flight from Long Beach, Calif., but nobody thought there was an emergency until the crew shouted for everyone to exit on the inflatable slides.

McDuffie, 33, saw the burning tires when she was on the ground.

“I thought, Oh, I wish I had gotten my bag off. But I was just happy I wasn’t hurt,’’ she said.

The plane appeared to experience trouble with its brakes, and four tires blew out during the landing, spokeswoman Sharon Jones said.

Fire crews from the city and the airport rushed to the scene, extinguished the burning tires, and aided passengers. Five people were taken to a hospital, airport spokeswoman Gina Swankie said.

Passenger Shannon Rupe said many injuries were abrasions from the exit slides. “They’re incredibly fast,’’ she said.

Eighty-seven passengers were taken to the terminal on buses, Swankie said.