CHICAGO (CBS) — A woman who was on board an American Airlines flight that caught fire and had to be evacuated on the runway Friday at O’Hare International Airport credited her service dog for keeping herself and others calm.
Lori Grube, who travels frequently between Chicago and Miami, said the safety video was in progress on American Airlines flight 383, as the Boeing 767 was rolling down the runway Friday afternoon.READ MORE: Student And Staff Data From Area School District Were Dumped On The Dark Web, And Parents And Staffers Had No Clue
“All of a sudden we heard a loud pop. I literally turned my head to look back to see what that popping sound was, and all I saw was flames,” she said.
Grube she grabbed her service dog, a French bulldog named Tucker Maxx, who had been under the seat. She said she held him like a baby and slid down the chute.
“He was very instrumental in just helping other people that were kind of dealing with the shock, and still watching the plane on fire. They kind of knelt down and snuggled with him when we were all regrouping on the tarmac,” Grube said.READ MORE: Sundling Junior High, 17 Other Illinois Schools Win National Blue Ribbons
Grube said Tucker Maxx is not even four years old, but he’s already made 296 airplane trips.
Diane Dinter, the breeder who had Tucker Maxx before he came to Chicago to live, said he helped Grube get out of the burning jet.
“Tucker Maxx was such a trouper. He did everything he was supposed to do. He slid down the slide … and then when everybody was so upset, he was there to help comfort everybody,” Dinter said.MORE NEWS: Mayor Lori Lightfoot 'Disappointed' In CPS Struggles With COVID Testing, Contact Tracing
The National Transportation Safety Board has said a preliminary investigation showed a disk in an engine turbine on the plane failed, and parts went flying as far as a half-mile away. The failure caused an explosion and fire, forcing the pilots to abort the takeoff and evacuate the plane.