TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — An airplane flying from Tampa to Atlanta caught fire Sunday when its landing gear burst into flames, according to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The airport posted on Twitter that the brakes on Spirit Airlines flight 383 from Tampa ignited at 9:25 a.m.
Video taken on the flight showed passengers looking outside the plane’s windows as the fire began.
Scottie Nelms, who was a passenger on the flight, spoke with News Channel 8 about his experience.
“Two or three seconds (after landing) you heard a thump,” Scottie Nelms said. “I see people getting up and looking around and they saw it was a fire.”
Nelms said the flight attendants ran towards the front of the plane before instructing passengers to remain calm.
“Everybody was up in a panic,” Nelms added. “We were trying to get off the plane.”
According to Spirit Airlines, a brake overheated, which led to it catching fire. Atlanta firefighters put out the fire without incident.
“Everyone had that thought in their head about ‘what if I don’t get off that plane in time?’” Nelms said.
Several other Spirit Airlines flights have made headlines in recent months. Nelm said he has heard about problems with the airline but never experienced any himself — until Sunday’s incident.
“I was just blind to the fact that it wouldn’t happen to me,” he said.
Nelms said he has heard from several local and national media outlets but has yet to hear back from “the main people,” namely Spirit Airlines.
The aircraft was ultimately towed to the gate where guests safely got off without any injuries.
“Thank you to the Atlanta first responders for immediately meeting the aircraft,” the airline said in a statement. “The plane will be temporarily removed from service for maintenance.”