Three children were injured during the evacuation of a JetBlue Airways plane after one of its engines caught fire prior to takeoff at the San Juan international airport, authorities said Sunday.

The general manager of the aviation department at the Puerto Rico Port Authority, Rolando Padua, said in a press release that the Airbus A320 was in the process of taxing before taking off for New York's John F. Kennedy airport at 6:45 p.m. on Saturday when one of its engines caught fire.

The pilot halted the plane and ordered the evacuation of the 186 passengers and six crewmembers, who used the emergency slides to exit the aircraft.

Two of the injured were taken to the University of Puerto Rico Hospital in Carolina, a city adjacent to San Juan, and the other was taken to the Mutual Aid Hospital in the capital.

Authorities did not provide the ages, nationalities or conditions of the injured.

The general director of Aerostar Airport Holdings, which manages the capital's airport, Agustin Arellano, said that the aircraft had not attained sufficient speed to become airborne when the fire broke out and so the pilot aborted the takeoff.

"The most significant thing is that the emergency was taken care of efficiently by the personnel of the airline, the Port (Authority) and Aerostar," he added. EFE