More than 270 people escaped a fiery death yesterday after their Bali-bound plane burst into flames as it attempted to take off from the southern Japanese city of Fukuoka. Three people were killed and 108 injured in the incident aboard the Indonesian Garuda aircraft that overran the runway. Twelve people initially said to be missing and feared dead, were later traced to nearby hospitals. Most of the 275 people on board fled down the DC-10's escape chutes as the rear of the cabin burst into flames. The plane, Flight 865, was flying from Fukuoka to Jakarta via Denpasar. The crash happened at 12.03 pm as the plane neared the end of the 2,800-metre runway. All but four of the 260 passengers were Japanese, according to initial reports. The nationalities of the foreigners was not clear. The 15-member crew were from Indonesia. The identities of the three confirmed dead was not known. Passengers said the plane took off and was in the air for a few seconds before crashing to the ground. 'The plane had just taken off and a few seconds later it hit the ground with two shocking bumps,' said one passenger. 'Things fell, but nobody was hurt because we were all in our seat belts. The fire started from the port side of the cabin. We tried to follow the evacuation directions from the flight attendant but that was the way the flames were coming from. 'The fire soon became intense and a few people had their hair singed.' The plane bumped across a four-lane road and travelled to the end of a nearby paddy field before sliding 90 degrees as the front wheel carriage was torn from the jet. The rear of the plane then burst into flames. Passengers said luggage fell from the overhead lockers, crashing around them. The crew directed them to the exits as the hair on some passengers caught fire. One passenger complained that stewardesses sent them to the left hand side of the plane where the fire first broke out. Those injured were burned on their legs, hands and heads. The fuselage was gutted by three-metre-high flames. An hour after the crash at least half of the plane's rear had been destroyed, exposing the charred interior. The fire burned for several hours as investigators started sifting through the wreckage and fire crews continued to spray the jet with chemical foam. The cause of the accident was unclear, but was initially attributed to an electrical problem. A large hole on the right hand side of the No 2 engine at the rear could also be one cause of the accident. One report said the plane lifted three to four metres off the ground. A loud sound was heard from the right-hand side of the No 2 engine and then fire broke out.