Fort Lauderdale

FedEx Plane Catches Fire at Fort Lauderdale Airport

A FedEx cargo plane's landing gear collapsed shortly after landing at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport Friday, sparking a fire, according to the Federal Aviation Authority.

FedEx 910, a DC-10 aircraft, was rolling on Runway 10 Left when one of the plane's landing gears collapsed and it's left wing caught fire, a Fort Lauderdale airport spokesman said.

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue officials said the two pilots on board escaped using a rope ladder on the side of the plane.

FedEx officials said the two pilots are safe after the incident. The plane had just arrived from Memphis.

Video footage from witnesses posted on social media showed an explosion followed by smoke billowing from the plane, which appeared to be tilted on its side.

"We turned and saw smoke billowing out and we took video and pics and we were walking back to our car and heard this huge explosion, we assumed it was the engine," witness John Anderson said. "It was crazy, we just hoped everyone was safe."

Aerial footage showed crews working to put out the fire. The plane's charred left wing, and surrounding runway and grass was immersed in foam.

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue responded to the scene and officials said the flames were quickly extinguished.

Fire Rescue officials said units were on the scene in two minutes and found a trail of fire down the runway.

"There was a trail of fire, it was like a fireball, a running fuel fire down the runway leading to the jet," Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles said. "So this fire started wherever contact was made with the wing, engine and the tarmac."

A ground stop was issued at the airport and delays were reported as the airport closed just before 6 p.m. The south runway re-opened at 7 p.m. but the north runway remained closed while the incident was investigated.

A total of 29 flights were diverted during the closure, airport officials said.

Officials said there were 40,000 pounds of fuel on the plane when it landed. It was also carrying US mail but officials said it appeared that the damage was confined to the outer part of the plane.

The FAA and NTSB will investigate the incident.

"We have to let the NTSB do their investigation, then we have to go in and get the plane out of there and then do the repairs to the runway," airport spokesman Greg Meyer said.

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