Flight Crashes During Takeoff, Burst Into Flames

An Air Senegal-operated Boeing 737 veered off course and erupted into flames during its takeoff from Blaise Diagne airport in Dakar, Senegal, early Thursday. The incident triggered a frantic evacuation of passengers from the burning aircraft.

The flight was destined for Bamako, Mali, with 78 passengers on board. Eleven passengers were injured in the incident, four of whom are reported to be in critical condition. Videos from the scene depicted a chaotic scramble as passengers attempted to escape the burning plane.

The aircraft, a Boeing 737-300 model, was leased from the Senegalese carrier Transair. The plane was visibly damaged, with a significant hole in its left engine, as emergency responders worked to extinguish the fire.

In addition to the passengers, the plane was manned by two pilots and four cabin crew members. Reports indicate that one of the pilots was among the injured.

Following the incident, operations at Blaise Diagne airport were temporarily halted as investigators began their probe into the cause of the crash. Air Senegal has not yet released a public statement regarding the incident.

This event in Dakar happened just a day after another Boeing aircraft, a FedEx Airlines Boeing 763, experienced a landing gear malfunction and skidded on its nose down the runway at Charles de Gaulle Airport.

These incidents contribute to a growing list of issues for Boeing, which has been under intense public scrutiny following a series of mishaps. Earlier this year, a side door panel blew off an Alaska Airlines 737 Max mid-flight, leading to a criminal investigation into the manufacturer. The company has also faced criticism following the deaths of two former employees who had raised concerns about safety inspections at the company.