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The moment a Southwest Airlines plane catches fire mid-flight

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This is the terrifying moment flames shoot out of an airplane engine moments after take-off.

The footage, captured on Tuesday, shows flames roaring out of the right engine of a Southwest Airlines plane travelling from Texas to Mexico.

It was climbing out of William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas, when the flames erupted and left passengers panic stricken.

Passenger Coale Kalisek, who filmed the incident, said he thought ‘Damn, it’s gonna go down!’ after realising something wasn’t right.

He told the KHOU media outlet: ‘All I know is it started swinging like left to right, and I thought, I’ve been on a lot of flights.

‘I think I fly once or twice a month and I knew that wasn’t normal and so I opened up my window and I’m sitting next to the engine and that whole engine you see like fireballs coming out of it.’

Mr Kalisek, from San Antonio, was travelling to Cancun, Mexico, with his girlfriend when it happened.

In a statement, Southwest Airlines said the flight ‘returned to the airport’ and was checked for a ‘potential mechanical issue’.

A spokesman said a different airplane was used to continue the flight to the Mexican holiday destination.

It added: ‘We appreciate our Customers’ patience as we work to get them to their destinations as quickly as possible.’

The plane made an emergency landing and safely returned to the airport in Houston.

In a statement, Southwest Airlines said the plane had a “mechanical issue shortly after take-off” and has been grounded.

The Federal Aviation Administration is now investigating the incident.

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