Engine fire forces emergency landing at McCarran

LAS VEGAS - An engine fire forced a packed flight from Las Vegas to New York to make an emergency landing at McCarran International Airport just after midnight.  No one was hurt, but passengers described tense moments in the cockpit.

Delta flight 1057 took off late Tuesday night, bound for New York's JFK airport.  About 15 minutes into the flight, passengers noticed the left engine of the Boeing 757 burst into flames.

"There was an orange light glowing from the windows in the back," said one passenger who asked to remain anonymous.  "The people were yelling, 'It's getting worse!'  They turned the plane around, thank God."

Pilots immediately declared an emergency and turned back toward Las Vegas.  Air traffic controllers cleared the runways, halted takeoffs and landings, and scrambled emergency responders.

"There were definitely people tensing up," said passenger Rick Quemado.  "A couple of girls next to me were asking me what's going on."

Firefighters greeted the plane on the runway as it landed around 12:20 a.m.

In a statement, Delta Airlines said the flight landed safely and taxied to the gate.  Passengers were sent back into the terminal.  Their replacement flight to New York is expected to leave around 6 a.m.