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United Plane Catches Fire Before Takeoff

An engine catches fire on a United Airlines flight before takeoff | Image by IPaloalto/Twitter
An engine catches fire on a United Airlines flight before takeoff | Image by IPaloalto/Twitter

A United flight preparing to take off from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport experienced an engine fire on Monday, causing other incoming flights to be delayed.

No injuries were reported, but passengers described seeing smoke coming from the engine. The plane was towed to a terminal and the 148 passengers were deplaned safely. The fire’s cause has yet to be determined. The Federal Aviation Administration temporarily paused incoming flights following the incident, the Gateway Pundit reported.

The aircraft that caught fire was an Airbus A320 scheduled for a 2 p.m. departure to Seattle. United said in a statement that the company worked to arrange alternate transportation for the affected passengers.

Monday’s fire was the latest in a series of high-profile incidents plaguing the airline industry. Hiring airline employees based on “diversity, equity, and inclusion” goals rather than on merit has been suggested as a possible cause of some of the incidents, according to a guest columnist at The Daily Signal. At the same time, a focus on shareholder profits over quality control has also purportedly led to serious mishaps.

In March, the Gateway Pundit reported that a United Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 suffered a landing gear failure while arriving at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. After landing, the plane rolled off the runway and into a grassy area. No injuries were reported.

One day before the incident in Houston, a United Boeing 777 was forced to make an emergency landing after a tire fell off during takeoff. The tire damaged cars in the parking lot of San Francisco International Airport, where the flight originated. The plane landed safely in Los Angeles.

Also in March, another United Boeing 737 that took off from San Francisco landed in Oregon and was found to be missing an exterior panel, as reported by the Gateway Pundit. It is unclear when the panel came off the plane, as it was only discovered to be missing after a post-flight inspection.

The latest incident comes at the start of what is forecasted to be a record-setting travel season. Memorial Day is the unofficial start to the summer travel season, and the U.S. Transportation Security Administration said that a record number of travelers had been cleared. According to TSA, 2.9 million passengers were checked on Friday at the start of the Memorial Day weekend.

AAA reported that the Memorial Day holiday would be the busiest in nearly 20 years. The agency anticipated 43.8 million travelers, nearing the record 44 million people clocked in 2005. These numbers include planes, trains, buses, and vehicular travel.

“We haven’t seen Memorial Day weekend travel numbers like these in almost 20 years,” said Paula Twidale, senior vice president of AAA Travel. “We’re projecting an additional one million travelers this holiday weekend compared to 2019, which not only means we’re exceeding pre-pandemic levels but also signals a very busy summer travel season ahead.”

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