Delta A321neo catches fire at Seattle-Tacoma Airport, prompting full evacuation

Paul Szypula / X

The front of a Delta Air Lines A321neo aircraft burst into flames at Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA), prompting full evacuation of all passengers onboard onto the tarmac.

The incident occurred on the evening of May 6, 2024, when Flight DL 604 had just arrived from Cancun International Airport (CUN) and the aircraft had reached the gate. 

When the terminal’s electrical network was plugged into the aircraft, it generated sparks and eventually burst into flames. 

Surveillance video of the incident has been posted on social media, including X (formerly Twitter). 

The footage captured the moment sparks began to fly from under the cockpit after the aircraft was plugged into the ground electrical network. This then turned into a fireball.

A spokesperson for Seattle Tacoma Airport told The New York Post that the pilots became aware of smoke soon after landing, and immediately instructed the crew to deploy the emergency slides.

The surveillance video also captured the moment slides were deployed and passengers evacuated. Some passengers also used the middle emergency exit window and walked onto the aircraft wing to reach the inflated chute.

Only two-thirds of the 189 passengers exited via the slides, as the rest had already deplaned through the passenger loading bridge.

“Out of an abundance of caution, slides were deployed and passengers still on board deplaned via the rear of the aircraft. Passengers were fully evacuated, and those deplaned to the ramp returned to the terminal via the ramp stairs,” Delta told The NY Post, adding that the aircraft had since been removed from service for inspection and maintenance. 

Fire officials also responded to the incident, although the fire had gone out on its own. 

No injuries were reported and no passenger needed any medical attention.  All 189 passengers and six crew members were safe.

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