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Fire on Southwest airliner forces 139 passengers to evacuate

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - A fire on a Southwest Airlines plane forced passengers to evacuate before takeoff at a Southern California airport.

Posted: Feb 13, 2018 9:26 AM

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - A fire on a Southwest Airlines plane forced passengers to evacuate before takeoff at a Southern California airport.

Officials from John Wayne Airport say the crew of the Boeing 737 decided that the 139 passengers should evacuate Monday night using the aircraft's emergency slides just after the plane had pushed back from the gate

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer says the blaze was in the airliner's auxiliary power unit and was extinguished with the plane's fire suppression system. The auxiliary power unit provides power to start the aircraft's main engines and serves as backup power in some situations.

It forced a partial shutdown of the airport's taxiway, but airport operations are back to normal.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.) 

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The threat of thunderstorms is driving high fire danger across northern California today and most of our region will be under a Red Flag Warning this afternoon and evening. Very hot and dry weather is on the way in your extended forecast, with dangerous heat projected to return this weekend.
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