An Avior Airlines Boeing 737-200, registration YV2937 performing flight 9V-1260 from Barcelona (Venezuela) to Guayaquil (Ecuador) with 81 passengers and 6 crew, was enroute at FL310 near Manta (Ecuador) when the right hand engine (JT8D) emitted several loud bangs causing the passenger oxygen masks to be released and prompting the crew to shut the engine down and divert to Manta for a safe landing about one hour later.
The passengers were bussed to Guayaquil.
Ecuador’s DGCA reported the crew declared emergency in flight and diverted to Manta where the aircraft landed normally and taxied to the apron.
Passengers reported the aircraft jolted, sparks and flames were seen from the right hand engine and bangs were heard, the passenger oxygen masks came down, the lights extinguished temporarily and everybody clinched on their masks. The aircraft entered a steep descent, a burning smell developed on board. About one hour later the aircraft landed in Manta.
So far no photos are available of the right hand engine that could answer whether the engine failure was uncontained as suspected by witnesses in Ecuador.