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Hundreds evacuated from 747 at Phoenix airport

world Updated: Jul 11, 2009 13:04 IST

AP
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Hundreds of passengers aboard a British Airways Boeing 747 preparing to depart for London from the Phoenix airport were forced to use slides to evacuate the jet after fumes filled the cabin.

No serious injuries were reported among the approximately 350 passengers and crew who evacuated the jet at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport at about 8 pm MST (0300 GMT) Phoenix Fire Department Capt Shelly Jamison said.

About 15 people were evaluated for minor scrapes and bruises, but only one person was taken to a hospital with shoulder pain.

The jumbo jet had just pushed back from the gate when smoke was reported in the cabin, Jamison said. When fire crews arrived minutes later, the passengers and crew used escape slides. The jet was next to the terminal at the time.

Fire crews found smoke in the cabin and in the cargo compartment, but no active fire was discovered, Jamison said. No official cause has been determined, but she said fire crews believed the smoke and smell were likely caused by an electrical problem.

British Airways and the airport sent a bus to collect all the passengers to take them back inside the terminal.

KTVK-TV quoted one passenger as saying smoke was seeping out from under his seat, while a female passenger described as "an acrid smell" that didn't smell like smoke.