Several passengers aboard British Airways Flight 2276 were taken to the Orleans Hotel and Casino Tuesday night. Many had little more than the clothes on their back, after their plane caught fire Tuesday afternoon.
Some say they are thankful they made it off the plane alive, but say confusion began a short time later.
“It’s been reckless. We we’re dropped off here, and nobody’s told us anything,” said passenger Shane McArdle. “Somebody’s supposed to be coming to meet us, and we’ve been here, what, two hours. Nobody’s coming to meet us. Nobody’s telling us what’s going to happen.”
McArdle is one of a dozen British Airways passengers who spoke with 8 News NOW. Many say they were tired, hungry and frustrated.
Several passengers say they were rushed off the plane with nothing – no wallet, no cell phone; one woman had no shoes.
McArdle says he came within feet of the flames.
“I was one of the first people off the plane, jumped on the slide, and the flames seemed to be twice the height of the aircraft,” he said. “This was before the fire trucks arrived. They also came very quickly. They were probably only about 150 meters away whenever I was moving away from the flames.”
As of 8:30 p.m. McArdle said they received no answers from British Airways about what’s next, when they will return home or if they will have access to their luggage.
Some people had connecting flights and other engagements and want to know when they will get to London.
8 News NOW reached out to British Airways, but our calls were not returned.
The airline released a statement that read,
“The safety of our customers and crew is always our priority, and we are looking after those who were on board the BA2276 from Las Vegas to London Gatwick following an incident on Tuesday September 8, 2015.
The aircraft, a 777-200 experienced a technical issue as it was preparing for take-off from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Our crew evacuated the aircraft safely, and the fire was quickly extinguished by the emergency services at the airport.
157 customers were on board the flight, along with three pilots and 10 cabin crew. A small number of customers and our crew were taken to hospital.
All customers have been provided with hotel accommodation, and our colleagues are helping them with anything further they require.
We will provide any further updates on ba.com.”
British Airways also established a phone number for friends and family of those affected directly by the fire. The number is 1-800-654-3246.
Several passengers said the Orleans gave them food vouchers, toothbrushes and toothpaste.