GE Aviation is not yet confirming initial reports that a British Airways 777-200ER suffered a “catastrophic" engine failure on 8 September.

The manufacturer of the two GE90-85B engines on the stricken aircraft has instead issued a statement with only a general comment about the nature of the incident: “Heat distress was evident on the left hand engine and the left side of the fuselage.”

GE also remains unaware of any issues that “would hazard the continued safe flight of aircraft powered by these engines”, the statement says.

That stands in slight contrast to a definitive statement by one of the passengers aboard flight BA2276, who says they were briefed by the captain after being evacuated from the aircraft on the runway at Las Vegas McCarran airport.

The captain told the passengers that the fire was caused by a “catastrophic engine failure”, according to a post on the witness’s Twitter account.

The US Federal Aviation Administration also issued a statement saying an “engine fire” erupted, causing the BA crew to abort the take-off.

GE is dispatching technical staff to McCarran airport to assist an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board, along with Boeing and British Airways.

The 777, identified as G-VIIO, was carrying 157 passengers, according to BA, and was bound for London Gatwick.

After being cleared for take-off, the flight crew made a “mayday” call at 16:13, citing a fire. The aircraft was evacuated and airport fire crews extinguished the flames within 5min of the mayday report, according to McCarran airport officials.

BA says a “small number” of passengers and crew were treated for minor injuries. The carrier says it will give its "fullest support" to the NTSB inquiry.

Source: Cirium Dashboard