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Smoke prompts evacuation of British Airways jet

  • Story Highlights
  • London-bound plane was evacuated Friday after smoke reported in cabin
  • Passengers, crew used emergency chutes to leave plane
  • Officials still trying to determine what caused smoke on plane
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(CNN) -- Officials said a British Airways jet had to be evacuated Friday at a Phoenix, Arizona, airport after smoke was reported in the cabin.

British Airways Flight 288, headed to London's Heathrow Airport, had departed the gate for the runway, but returned after passengers detected odors strong enough to cause alarm, said Capt. Shelly Jamison, spokeswoman of the Phoenix Fire Department.

The Boeing 747-400 was next to the terminal when emergency chutes flew open for the 298 passengers to evacuate, officials said.

About 100 firefighters and emergency medical personnel were dispatched to Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport about 8 p.m. (11 p.m. ET), she said.

Jamison said about 15 people suffered injuries, mainly cuts and bruises. She also said a person experiencing shoulder pain was taken to a local hospital.

Firefighters used a thermal imaging camera, but could not determine a source of a fire, Jamison said.

Jamison said the smoke may have been caused by electrical problems.

The airlines' engineering staff was examining the aircraft and the staff in Phoenix was assisting stranded passengers with hotel rooms, British Airways spokesman Richard Goodfellow said.

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