Plane engine explodes and bursts into flames as passengers run for their lives

Plane passengers were terrified when they looked out the windows to see their plane catching on fire during take-off.

The American Airlines flight, scheduled to fly to Texas on Thursday (April 20), had to return to Charlotte-Douglas International Airport terminal at North Carolina after the incident.

Frankie Leggington, who was on the flight, said she heard an explosion not long after the plane took off,

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In the video she took from her emergency exit seat, the Airbus A321's right engine appeared to catch fire with flames and smoke shooting out from the wing of the plane.

A man can be heard saying: "Oh s***, it's on fire. Yeah the engine is on fire. It's flame everywhere."

Other passengers started to panic and wondered what to do.

Then a flight attendant spoke over the tannoy and said: "Ladies and gentlemen, just be calm.

"Obviously something has happened and the pilots are working on and will tell us what's going on.

"Just be calm, and let's hear what's going on exactly and we will get direction from there."

The plane later safely returned to the gate and all passengers were evacuated.

Frankie told local media: "Nobody knows what’s happening so it’s everyone’s first instinct, is the plane is going to blow.

"So everyone is grabbing their bags trying to run up and run in the aisle."

American Airlines issued a statement and claimed the plane had a "mechanical issue", adding that the plane "was out of service for maintenance" but it's not clear what caused the fire.

On Sunday (April 23), a second American Airlines plane had to make emergency landing after a flock of geese caused one of its engines to catch fire.

Passengers on board the Ohio-Arizona flight were in the air for about 40 minutes before the plane engine caught on fire with disturbing noises.

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