Boeing 777-200 was preparing to take off shortly after 4pm (local time) on Tuesday when its left engine caught fire, sending thick black smoke billowing into the sky.
The 157 passengers and 13 crew were evacuated using emergency slides as around 50 firefighters tackled the blaze, while 13 people were treated in hospital for minor injuries.
In audio recordings, the jet’s pilot, who has been praised for his handling of the emergency, is heard calmly asking for fire crews before telling air traffic control: “We are evacuating on the runway. We have a fire, I repeat, we are evacuating.”
McCarran International Airport confirmed all passengers and crew had made it off the plane and been taken back to the terminal by bus.
An airport spokeswoman said: “We cannot express enough gratitude to the emergency response crews, as well as the British Airways crew.”
Firefighters stationed at the airport reached the plane two minutes after getting reports of flames, and within five minutes everyone inside the plane had escaped.
After the flames were put out, emergency vehicles could be seen surrounding the aircraft, which was left a grey colour from the smoke.
The injured were taken to Sunrise Hospital, with most receiving treatment after hurting themselves while sliding down inflatable chutes to escape the aircraft.
British Airways said: “We are looking after customers after an incident involving flight BA2276 due to travel from Las Vegas to London Gatwick Airport.”
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the plane’s left engine caught fire and an investigation was under way.
The National Transportation Safety Board was collecting information about the incident, said Eric Weiss, a spokesman for the agency in Washington.
One of the airport’s runways was shut down, but operations continued on the other three runways, officials said.
Former pilot and former head of flight operations Mike Vivian told Sky News such an incident is “very, very rare” and that the Boeing 777-200 is “a very successful aircraft”
He added: “I’m reluctant to speculate (what happened). But clearly this is a combination of an engine and fuel that has ignited and sometimes you have these massive blades inside that disintegrate but, beyond that, it’s probably unwise to go further.
“”The pilots are mentally prepared for this eventuality, however rare it is. It is a very well-rehearsed routine with both the cabin crew and the pilots.”
In its 21-year history, the 777-200 has been involved in two fatal crashes, one in July 2013 that killed three passengers when an Asiana Airlines flight landed short of San Francisco International Airport’s runway, and Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that disappeared last year and has yet to be recovered.