An engine on a Salt Lake-bound Delta Airlines 727 caught fire just before landing at Oklahoma City, but the plane landed safely and no one was hurt.

The fire was big enough that many around Will Rogers World Airport on Sunday night assumed there had been a crash."We heard an explosion, and as I came out the door I saw the back end of the plane engulfed with flames," resident Jim Jennings said.

"I saw a big ball of fire coming out of the back end of the plane," Jennings said. "I didn't know . . . I was just hoping everyone would get out all right."

The pilot told the 129 passengers the engine had backfired, passenger Gary Carver of Utah said.

"Through the whole thing he kept coming on the PA system, explaining to us exactly what they were doing," Carver said.

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Fire crews extinguished the flames and a grass fire that started along the runway.

There was no emergency evacuation, Delta spokeswoman Paulette O'Donnell in Atlanta said.

"There was no problem getting on the ground or anything else," O'Donnell said.

The flight originated in Atlanta, stopped in Tulsa and had a final destination of Salt Lake City. Salt Lake passengers had to wait almost three hours in Oklahoma City while another plane was flown up from Dallas.

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