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Plane forced to land in Newfoundland after engine blowout

Digital writers

Sunday, October 1, 2017, 5:14 PM - The 497 passengers aboard an Air France plane forced to make an emergency landing in Labrador Saturday have departed for the U.S.

The plane was en route to Los Angeles from Paris when an engine blowout near Greenland forced it to divert to Happy Valley-Goose Bay, N.L., landing in the early afternoon Saturday. Air France sent two jetliners to fetch them, and on Sunday the passengers were flown on to Los Angeles and Atlanta.

Passenger Sarah Eamigh told CBC News the cabin noticeably shook for about 10 minutes after Saturday's blowout

"We saw the cabin crew walking through the aisles quickly, and we heard an announcement from the captain that said one of our engines had an explosion," she told the network.

Photos and video of the engine posted by passengers to social media showed the engine's cover completely gone. 

In a statement, Air France said the aircraft's crew "handled this serious incident perfectly," and that the cause of the incident was under investigation.

Fire crews met the plane on the tarmac, though CBC reports they weren't needed. No injuries were reported among the passengers, but they were not allowed to deplane, and one passenger tweeted that they remained aboard for almost a full day before being taken by bus to the replacement planes.

The exact cause of the engine blowout is not known. That particular aircraft is about seven years old, according to Reuters.

The airport in Happy Valley-Goose Bay is a designated emergency landing spot due to its location on the northeastern coast of North America not far from transatlantic air routes, and also has a place in the lore of space exploration: In 1983, a Boeing 747 carrying the prototype space shuttle Enterprise made a landing there, and the town was one of three alternate space shuttle landing sites in Newfoundland and Labrador before the shuttle program ended in 2011.

SOURCES: CBC News | Reuters | Flight Aware

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