Passengers evacuate plane at Boise Airport after fuel leak sparks fire fear

Passengers aboard an Allegiant Air plane from Los Angeles evacuated the plane at the Boise airport after visible vapor from a fuel leak sparked fears of a fire, an airport spokesperson said.

The plane had taxied to the gate area shortly after 7 p.m. when fuel leaked from an auxiliary motor, said Sean Briggs, spokesperson for the Boise Airport.

"The fuel looked like vapor, and passengers thought it looked like smoke so they popped the emergency door open and exited on the wing," Briggs said. A few passengers jumped from the wing to the tarmac, but a belt loader was brought in to help the rest of them to the ground, he said.

There were no injuries, he said, and the fuel leak was cleaned up with an hour. He said the passengers apparently took the action on their own, without being directed by the flight crew.

The leak covered an area of about 10 feet by 10 feet, Briggs said.

The plane, an MD-80, is grounded while officials determine what caused the leak, he said. He didn't know how many passengers were aboard the flight, but the MD-80 is a series of twin-engine commercial jets that can hold 130 or more passengers.