An heroic pilot of British Airways plane bound for Gatwick from Las Vegas saved the lives of more than 100 passengers on board after aborting a take off after when an engine caught fire.

The Boeing 777-200 was engulfed in flames on the tarmac leaving officials no option but to close the airport to incoming flights.

It was confirmed 159 passengers were on board and 13 crew.

Two were said to have suffered minor injuries and received medical attention all they were not life threatening.

The plane was mainly full of holidaymakers who had been in Sin City.

The airport’s official Twitter account confirmed one runway.

“One runway is out of service,” it read.

“Flight operations continue on the airport’s other three runways.”

Passengers on other planes watched as the horror unfolded.

David Somer tweeted a picture of the plane in flames saying he saw people “running off” as it continued to burn.

He wrote: “Just landed in Vegas to see this…plane on fire on the Tarmac…people still on board and running off!”

The cause of the fire was not immediately stated.

British sport’s journalist Jacob Steinberg was on the flight.

He tweeted how passengers managed to escape the inferno by a slide from the back door after he was woken from his sleep.

He wrote: “Just evacuated on a British Airways flight at Las Vegas airport after an engine caught fire. “Don’t think anyone hurt.

“Was asleep as the plane took off. Came to a crashing halt. Smell of smoke. Initially told to stay seated, then shout of evacuate.

“Could smell and see smoke but was on other side of plane. One person said fire melted a couple of windows.

“They opened the back door and slide went down and smoke started coming in plane, followed by mad dash to front.

“A lot of panic.”

He then posted a picture of his friend running from the plane.

“To give you an idea of what the fire was like (that’s my mate Jez, who just had a knee reconstruction, on the run),” he captioned the photograph.

Afterwards he said they were back at the gate and had been given water.