Engine fire prompts emergency landing of Air Force Plane in Lincoln

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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT)-- A U.S. Air Force AWACS plane that took off from Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma made an emergency landing at the Lincoln Airport on Thursday night after fire broke out in an engine.

Six crew members aboard all escaped without injury.

The call of an engine on fire came in shortly after 7:00 p.m.

According to the Air National Guard, called in to assist in the rescue, the six aboard safely evacuated using the slide.

The Air National Guard said it isn't rare to have a fire engine warning light come on but for an engine to actually catch fire is extremely rare.

"Usually it's a short in a wire or a failure there," said Assistant Fire Chief Scott Osander. "And due to their speed and everything you can't always see that the engine is actually on fire. As soon as he slowed down enough to land, then we saw he was on fire."

Osander said the crew members onboard the plane did everything correctly in this situation.

"They're extensively trained on situations like this, and they did what they were trained to do," Osander said. "They landed, handed it over to us, and then we did what we were trained to do."

The plane was towed to an airport stall. Osander says it isn't clear how long the plane will stay there, but says there will most likely be an armed guard standing by at all times until it is fixed.