Passenger Films British Airways Jet on Fire at Las Vegas Airport

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

ByABC News
September 9, 2015, 6:42 PM

— -- When a plane burst into flames during takeoff at Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport Tuesday, a passenger caught the terrifying moment on video.

The dramatic video, taken from inside the plane, shows smoke and flames billowing outside the small airplane window.

"Please remain seated," a flight attendant says.

The British Airways Boeing 777, carrying 170 passengers and crew, may have experienced a mechanical failure that tore apart the engine, spitting flames and segments of hot metal into the fuselage, located just under the cabin, experts said.

The airline called the problem a “technical issue."

“The safety of our customers and crew is always our priority and we are looking after those who were on board,” British Airways said in a statement. “The aircraft, a 777-200, experienced a technical issue as it was preparing for take-off. ... Our crew evacuated the aircraft safely and the fire was quickly extinguished by the emergency services at the airport.”

ABC News aviation consultant Col. Steve Ganyard said, “The engine really just exploded. After they put the fire out, you could see how clearly that fire came to almost penetrating into the cabin.”

The jet was traveling at just under 90 mph when the flames burst forth, according to FlightRadar24.

The pilot immediately declared a “mayday” and crews evacuated the passengers via the plane’s inflatable slides as thick smoke engulfed the jet. Several passengers were hospitalized.

The fire was out just five minutes after the pilot’s distress call, the airport said.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.