An emergency evacuation was ordered as the Shanghai bound flight was preparing to take off from Charles de Gaulle airport with 298 passengers on board.
With dense smoke and a smell of sulphur quickly filling up the cabin the passengers were forced to exit the plane on the inflatable slides onto the tarmac below, airport sources told AFP.
“They were evacuated in an emergency at the time of boarding because of the release of a strong smell of sulphur and dense smoke,” Air France said in a statement after the incident on Sunday.
Two passengers were slightly injured in the incident with one suffering from smoke inhalation and the other suffered an injury to the elbow.
However both of the injured were expected to join the rest of the passengers on board a replacement flight that was due to leave for Shanghai on Monday afternoon.
An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the incident. Airport sources told AFP that they believe it was a problem with the turbine or an electrical problem in the auxiliary engine, which powers a plane when its main engine has stopped.
However Air France have not confirmed these hypothesis.