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Watch: American Airlines tyre blows during takeoff in Tampa

Simon Calder’s Travel

An American Airlines aircraft caught fire during takeoff after experiencing a “mechanical issue” with one of its tyres on Wednesday morning.

Flight 590 from Tampa International Airport to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Arizona was speeding down the Florida runway when the wheel blew and the departure was aborted.

Video footage by Captain Steven Markovich shows the American Airlines Boeing 737-800 taxiing on the runway with a cloud of smoke and flames engulfing its right tyre.

The plane spotter can be heard saying “Emergency, emergency, they’re on fire!” as the dramatic incident unfolded and the Phoenix-bound aircraft came to a halt.

Several airport fire engines were then seen responding on the runway to extinguish the flames with water just before 8am local time.

A commenter on Markovich’s YouTube video claimed to have been on flight 590: “We were halfway down the runway and getting up to speed when we heard a loud bang and felt a shudder and braked hard. There wasn’t much runway left when we finally stopped, fully loaded and four hours of fuel.

“When we stopped the captain said the firetrucks were coming only out of an abundance of caution, but from row 30 we could see flames,” wrote Heather Caballero.

The airline confirmed that none of the 174 passengers and six onboard crew were injured during the failed take-off attempt.

According to American Airlines the issue “involved some of the aircraft’s tires”.

Passengers were scheduled on a replacement flight from Tampa to finish the journey to Arizona.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident.

A spokesperson for American Airlines said: “American Airlines flight 590 with service from Tampa (TPA) to Phoenix (PHX) experienced a mechanical issue on the runway prior to taking off.

“Customers safely deplaned and were bussed to the terminal. We never want to disrupt our customers’ travel plans and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

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