By Melissa Koenig
Flames shot out the side of a cargo plane as it flew over Miami late Thursday, forcing it to make an emergency landing.
Terrifying footage posted to social media showed fire burning in the Atlas Air Jet’s left wing as it made its way across the night sky, leaving a trail of smoke and flames in its wake.
“Oh my God, it’s on fire!” the woman taking the video says. “Oh my God, Mom!”
A pilot of the Boeing 747-8 immediately alerted air-traffic control at Miami International Airport.
“Mayday, mayday. … We have an engine fire,” he said, according to audio from the call obtained by NBC Miami.
“Request access back to the airport. No, we’ll go ahead and land. We have five souls onboard,” the pilot said.
The plane — which took off from Miami International Airport at 10:32 p.m. — made an emergency landing back at the hub at 10:46 p.m., according to data from flight tracker FlightAware.
Atlas Air said the jet returned safely to the airport and that no crew members were injured in the blaze. The flight was eventually able to continue on to San Juan, Puerto Rico later that night.
“The crew followed all standard procedures and safely returned to [Miami International Airport],” the airline said in a statement.
“At Atlas, safety is always our top priority, and we will be conducting a thorough inspection to determine the cause.”It remains unclear what cargo the plane was carrying at the time.
The Federal Aviation Administration said it will conduct its own investigation.
Atlas Air has the world’s largest fleet of Boeing 747s, according to its Web site.
A year ago, it took delivery of the plane maker’s final 747-8s, as the company discontinued the line.
“We’ve carried everything on the 747 from race cars to race horses, from rocket parts to satellites, electronics, overnight express shipment and various forms of perishables like fresh flowers, vegetables and fish,” President and CEO John Dietrich said in a statement at the time.
“And we are proud to serve the US military as the largest provider of their airlift — carrying both troops and cargo — and the 747 is the backbone of this crucial work.”
But Boeing has been engulfed in a crisis since a door plug on an Alaskan Airlines plane suddenly broke off mid-flight while the aircraft was 16,000 feet in the air, forcing the jet to make an emergency landing in Portland, Ore.
Alaska and United Airlines said they discovered loose bolts, hardware and other issues on similar jets after conducting inspections on their grounded Max 9 aircraft in the aftermath.
The FAA has since grounded 171 aircraft for safety checks.
Boeing shares have tumbled about 15% since the horrifying Alaska Airlines incident.