Southwest Boeing 737 engine spews flames shortly after take-off: video

Southwest Boeing 737-700
Markus Mainka /

A Southwest Airlines jet was forced to make an emergency landing when flames were seen spewing from the aircraft’s engine.  

The Boeing 737-700 aircraft took off from William P. Hobby International Airport (HOU) in Houston, Texas, on Tuesday, August 15, 2023, but it returned just 16 minutes later.  

According to Southwest, its Boeing 737 jet, which was traveling to Cancun International Airport (CUN) in Mexico, suffered a mechanical issue and was subsequently taken out of service following the incident.  

A video recorded by a passenger on board the flight showed bright flames spewing from the aircraft’s engine and from under the wing.  

Footage of the fire was also shot by airport staff on the ground. Thick smoke and flames could clearly be seen, despite the distance.  

“Southwest Flight #307 from Houston Hobby (HOU) to Cancun (CUN) returned to the airport on Tuesday night after experiencing a mechanical issue shortly after take-off. The aircraft landed safely and was taken out of service for review. A different aircraft continued the flight to Cancun last evening, and we appreciate our customers’ patience and support,” Southwest said in a statement following the incident.  

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