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Passenger tells ITV News of 'pandemonium' during British Airways fire evacuation

A passenger who was on the British Airways flight which caught fire in Las Vegas has told ITV News there was "pandemonium" on board as people tried to evacuate.

Ian Payne said there was a "stampede" as people rushed to the emergency exits and one woman had her head trampled on, with some passengers crying and screaming.

Mr Payne, who was in America with friends for birthday celebrations, said it was a "very scary experience".

He told ITV News he was sitting right above the engine that caught fire and heard a "really loud bang" as the aircraft accelerated to take-off.

The plane then veered violently from side to side before black smoke started coming from the engine and the order was given to evacuate.

"Initially we all had to go to one side of the plane, then the chutes didn't deploy correctly, so we all rushed to the other side," said Mr Payne.

"There was a big of a stampede and a bit of trampling, panicking and tears and screaming.

"From the time we got asked to evacuate it was absolute panic stations, unfortunately some people got trampled on. It was just pandemonium."

Mr Payne said that within around 90 seconds everyone was off the plane and the fire service were on the scene by the time he was outside.

Passengers were evacuated from the plane onto the runway. Credit: Ian Payne

He said if the plane had already taken off when the engine caught fire it could have been much worse, adding that there were concerns there could be an explosion because of the fuel on board.

"It was quite a close call I think," said Mr Payne. "For that short period of time it was certainly a very scary experience."

Mr Payne and his friends, from Berkshire, had originally booked to fly home a day earlier but extended their stay in Las Vegas by one night.

"We shouldn't really have been on that flight in the first place," he said.

He said they had been moved to a hotel and were now due to fly home tomorrow.

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