PARIS — One engine of an Airbus 320 plane preparing to carry 165 passengers from Paris to Spain caught fire before takeoff today, and eight passengers received skin burns when they used the emergency exit slides, Vueling airline and French police said.
The passengers were injured as they tried to exit the Airbus 320 plane at Paris’ Orly airport south of the French capital, said Helene Courcoul, chief of staff at the Val de Marne prefecture.
The Vueling plane was on its way to Alicante in southeastern Spain when the incident on Flight 9127 occurred at 10:36 a.m., the low-cost carrier said. The aircraft went into reverse to disengage from the boarding ramp when the right engine caught fire for unknown reasons, the Vueling statement said.
Courcoul said the fire broke out as the plane was disengaging from the boarding ramp.
Firemen rushed to the scene and quickly put out the blaze. The 165 passengers and the crew were evacuated. Courcoul said the eight injured people were treated by Orly airport medical personnel for skin burns they received when their bodies chafed against the slides as they went down from the aircraft.
There was no damage to airport facilities or to other nearby aircraft.
Airbus had no immediate comment on the incident.
All passengers were waiting at Orly airport for a replacement plane to arrive from Alicante to take them to their destination.