TOKYO — More than 150 passengers were forced to evacuate a passenger jet in Japan after an engine problem caused smoke to enter the cabin moments before takeoff, officials said Tuesday.
Four people were injured as they abandoned the Japan Airlines Boeing 737 taxiing at the snow-covered New Chitose Airport, which serves the northern city of Sapporo, the local fire department said.
Carrying 159 passengers and six crew, Flight 3512 was about to depart for the southern city of Fukuoka at 3 p.m. (1 a.m. E.T) when the crew detected a problem with its right engine, a spokesman for Japan Airlines said.
Soon after, smoke and an odor were detected inside the cabin, prompting the crew to evacuate the aircraft.
Firefighters said they did not have to extinguish any flames and could not confirm there was actually a blaze.
"That is all we know so far," a spokesman for Japan Airlines told NBC News.
Two women, aged 74 and 71, injured their hips, a 67-year-old woman hurt her neck and a 22-year-old man complained he was feeling unwell, according to an official at the Chitose Fire Department.