Aviation firms sued by passengers forced to escape from blazing BA aircraft

Aviation firms sued by passengers forced to escape from blazing BA aircraft

Aviation firms are being sued by passengers who had to escape from a British Airways aircraft when it caught fire on the runway.

They claim the aircraft was "defective and unreasonably dangerous" and that GE Aviation and Boeing knew parts were prone to "fracture and failure," Sky News reported.

The fire broke out on the Boeing 777 on September 8 as it prepared to take off from Las Vegas with 157 people on board.

BA senior captain, Chris Henkey, aborted the take-off, declared an emergency and ordered the evacuation of the passengers.

The 13 crew members on the Gatwick-bound flight were praised for their bravery during the incident, which left 27 people - including all the crew - needing treatment for minor injuries.

A lawsuit has now been issued by 65 of the people on board, and lawyers say more passengers are expected to join the claim.

A US National Transportation Safety Board investigation found the engine of BA flight 2276 had "multiple breaches" in its casing.

Lawyers for the passengers claim the firms knew the parts were prone to "fracture and failure" and said GE Aviation had lobbied against stricter inspections of the engines before the fire.

They also raised a Federal Aviation Administration directive from 2011 warning of defects in parts on similar engines.

However, GE Aviation said the engine had different parts and said it was "among the most reliable jet engines in commercial aviation history".

James Healy-Pratt, of London-based Stewarts Law, said the passengers did not blame the pilots or crew.

He said: "The pilots and cabin crew performed heroically in guiding the aircraft to an emergency stop."

Neither Boeing nor GE Aviation has commented on the lawsuit.

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