Investigators have found that a passenger plane’s fuel supply line coupling had disconnected before the jet’s engine caught fire at a Florida airport last week, prompting an evacuation.
The National Transportation Safety Board did not give a cause for the fire on the Dynamic Airways Boeing 767, which occurred as the plane taxied at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Oct. 29, but disclosed the fuel line problem in an update Tuesday.
More than 20 people were hospitalized after the engine caught fire, but the flames did not penetrate the jet’s cabin, the NTSB said.
One person suffered serious head injuries after falling while fleeing from the plane, officials said; the rest of the injuries were described as minor.
The jet carried 88 adult passengers and two children, as well as 11 crew members, and was preparing to take off for Venezuela for a 12:30 p.m. ET flight when the left engine caught fire.
The coupling assembly that was found to have disconnected was located in the wing-to-engine strut above and behind the left engine, the NTSB said.
The jet had been in dry storage for around 29 months before Dynamic International Airways leased it in September, the NTSB said.
The plane is almost 30 years old, first used in 1986 by Kuwait Airways. It has been owned by several other airlines since, officials have said.
The small air carrier, which has a fleet of five planes, ordered inspections of fuel line coupling assemblies in all of its aircraft, the NTSB said.
The transportation safety board said it expected to wrap up the on-scene investigation Tuesday, but investigators are reviewing the plane's data recorders and aircraft maintenance records. There are no records of maintenance being performed near the disconnected coupling prior to the accident, the NTSB said.