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A plume of black smoke was seen billowing into the sky from the plane

A British Airways plane bound for London has caught fire at Las Vegas airport, forcing the evacuation of 172 people on board on emergency slides.

Airport officials said at least 13 people were taken to hospital with minor injuries. US Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the left engine of the Boeing 777-200 caught fire before take-off.

The plane was seen engulfed in flames and smoke. The fire was later put out. Flight 2276 was bound for London’s Gatwick airport.

There were 159 passengers and 13 crew members on board. The airport tweeted: “Received first call at 4:13 PM (23:13 GMT); flames were spotted at 4:14, and by 4:14 response was underway.”

It added: “@LASairport had the fire out and all passengers off BA flight by 4:18 PM – excellent work by our ARFF team.” Airport officials said at least 13 people were taken to the city’s Sunrise hospital, most of them with injuries sustained while sliding down inflatable chutes during the evacuation. (BBC)