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Boeing cargo plane catches fire midair after departing Miami airport

The incident is the latest in a series of issues with Boeing-made jets. The plane, operated by Atlas Air, caught fire due to an engine malfunction.
Posted at 12:15 PM, Jan 19, 2024

A Boeing cargo plane operated by Atlas Air caught fire mid-flight, prompting an emergency landing in Miami.

Atlas Air Flight 5Y095 experienced an engine malfunction shortly after departing from Miami International Airport on Thursday night, the airline said in a statement to Scripps News. It had intended to travel to Puerto Rico.

The incident comes amid a series of issues with Boeing-made jets, including when a door plug flew off a 737 Max 9 passenger plane earlier this month, forcing a grounding of all Max 9 aircraft until they can be deemed safe.

In this latest mishap, Atlas Air said its crew followed all standard procedures and made a safe return to Miami's airport.

"At Atlas, safety is always our top priority and we will be conducting a thorough inspection," said the airline. 

In a statement to Scripps News, Boeing said it backs the investigation.

"We are supporting our customer and will support the [National Transportation Safety Board] investigation into this incident," Boeing said.

The aircraft's engine maker, GE Aviation, is also supporting the investigation.

"Safety is our first priority, and GE Aerospace is providing technical assistance to [the Federal Aviation Administration] and the National Transportation Safety Board as they investigate the incident," GE Aviation said in a statement.

Footage of the incident was caught on cellphone video by a bystander on the ground, Melanie Adaros. In the footage, flames can be seen shooting out of the jet over Miami. 

Scripps News also obtained audio of the mayday call (heard in the video above) made by the pilot when the plane caught fire.

Agencies reviewing production and maintenance of Boeing Max 9 planes
An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft

Agencies reviewing production and maintenance of Boeing Max 9 planes

The NTSB is discussing the safety of the flying public weeks after the Alaska Airlines incident, when a door plug in a Boeing 737 Max 9 jet blew open.