Debris from a fiery runway accident at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport last week was thrown as far as nearly a half mile, investigators have revealed.
The incident took place seconds before American Airlines flight 383 was set to take off for Miami with 170 people aboard. As the Boeing 767 headed down a runway, the right-side engine experienced an "uncontained" failure, meaning internal parts somehow breached the protective housing that's supposed to stay intact, even during a breakdown.
Leaking jet fuel then caught fire under the wing, and crew members evacuated passengers by sending them down emergency exit chutes on the plane's left side. Firefighters showed up within minutes, and the flames never entered the cabin. Only minor injuries were reported.
Things could have been a lot worse. Since these sorts of uncontained engine failures are extremely rare, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating whether the problem was due to the engine, the manufacturer, or a freak event.