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Engine stall prevents Aerolineas Argentinas flight from leaving New York

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - An Aerolineas Argentinas flight bound for Buenos Aires canceled takeoff from New York's JFK airport on Thursday night after one of its engines stalled, the state-run airline said in a statement on Friday.

The company also said there was no fire, as had been earlier reported.

No passengers were injured and the plane, an Airbus A330-200, returned to its gate without incident, the statement read. Aerolineas spokeswoman Felicitas Castrillon had earlier told Argentine television channel TN that the engine was being repaired and that there was no damage to the aircraft.

She had said the incident was caused by a "turbine failure" and that the plane would be ready to fly again in three to five days.

Castrillon later told Reuters the engine that stalled was manufactured by Pratt & Whitney Co, an East Hartford, Connecticut-based aircraft engine manufacturer owned by United Technologies Corp.

In a statement, Pratt & Whitney confirmed that the plane was using its PW4000 engines, and said it was "supporting our customer on this matter."

The pilot of Aerolineas flight 1301 had reported a small engine fire as the plane taxied to its runway but responding rescue workers found no fire, New York-based PIX11 News reported on its website. Passengers aboard the plane posted images on social media showing flames in one of the engines.

The company said in the statement that "it is important to clarify that there was not any fire."

"This type of incident can happen when the flow of air into the motor is altered, and causes a sound similar to an explosion," the statement read, adding that the problem was limited to the plane's "engine 2."

The flight was scheduled to leave at 9:54 p.m. local time, flight tracking website flightaware.com said. The plane had been delayed from earlier Thursday afternoon due to snowfall on the U.S. East Coast.

Passengers told Argentine media that there was palpable concern among those aboard and that the airline had found them rooms in New York hotels and hoped to re-book them on other Buenos Aires-bound flights soon.

Aerolineas said in the statement that it was working to re-schedule flights "as soon as possible."

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee, and Jorge Otaola and Eliana Raszewski in Buenos Aires; Writing by Luc Cohen; Editing by Bill Trott and David Gregorio)