Passengers on a Spirit Airlines had a frightening landing in Atlanta on Sunday morning when their plane caught fire on the tarmac after one of its brakes overheated, a spokesperson for the airline confirmed.
Flashes of flames appeared near the plane's tires as clouds of smoke billowed out toward the back upon its landing at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport around 9:30 a.m. ET, video posted to social media shows.
“Spirit Flight 383 from Tampa to Atlanta landed safely in Atlanta International Airport and upon landing one of the brakes overheated," a spokesperson said. "The aircraft was towed to the gate where Guests safely deplaned without any injuries. Thank you to the Atlanta first responders for immediately meeting the aircraft. The plane will be temporarily removed from service for maintenance.”
A similar statement on the Atlanta airport's Twitter account said that the incident was due to brakes’ catching fire and that no injuries were reported.
Video posted to social media that appears to be from a passenger on the flight shows other passengers appearing to panic and getting out of their seats to look out the windows while flight attendants urge them to stay seated and say they don’t yet have to evacuate. About 45 minutes later, the same user posted a video of a fire truck on the scene.
Passenger Scottie Nelms told WTVT-TV of Tampa that the plane started making a "weird noise" from its left side upon landing.
"Nobody knew what it was until we stopped completely in the middle of the landing strip,” Nelms told the station. “We saw a flame coming from the engine and people and myself started freaking out.”
It isn't the first time the airline has dealt with a fire on one of its planes: In October, passengers were taken off a Spirit flight that was supposed to depart from Atlantic City International Airport in New Jersey after a "large bird" flew through the engine, causing a jet fire and forcing the pilots to abort takeoff.