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The pilot of a Delta Air Lines jetliner

August 8, 1997

HONOLULU (AP) _ The pilot of a Delta Air Lines jetliner carrying 316 people aborted a takeoff after seeing flames, apparently because one of the three engines of the L-1011 caught fire.

Twelve people sustained minor injuries. Federal Aviation Administration officials said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

Passenger Alan Maud, 47, of Palm Beach, Fla., said he saw fire coming from the left engine. And Percy Adams, 38, of Alabama, who was aboard with his wife and 6-year-old daughter, said the plane came to a stop near the end of the runway just in time.

``There were no blue lights on the runway left,″ he said, adding that he could see the ocean at the end of the runway.

Geraldine Babino, 63, of San Antonio, said passengers ran once they slid down the emergency chutes.

``We thought the plane was gonna explode,″ she said.

Some of the injuries may have happened after the passengers slid down the chutes to escape, said Marilyn Kali, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.

One passenger aboard Delta Flight 54 suffered a broken ankle, one suffered a sprained back and 10 suffered smoke inhalation, Kali said.

The Atlanta-bound plane had been scheduled to depart Honolulu International Airport about 4 p.m. Thursday and had gone toward the runway when the pilot decided to return to the terminal. The pilot reported possible hydraulic problems, passengers said.

They were trying to leave again at 7:30 p.m. when the takeoff was aborted, according to passengers.

Update hourly