Panic As Engine Falls Off Air France A380 Over Atlantic

Photo: David Rehmar

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An Air France flight from Paris to Los Angeles lost one of its four engines over the Atlantic Ocean Saturday, forcing the crew to divert to Goose Bay Airport, in Labrador in eastern Canada.

The plane was west of Greenland, about midway through the flight when what passengers described as a loud ‘boom’ shook the aircraft.

David Rehmar, a former aircraft mechanic who was a passenger on the flight, told the BBC that it appeared to have been a fan malfunction.

“You heard a loud ‘boom’, and it was the vibration alone that made me think the engine had failed,” he said.

“For a few moments I thought we were going to go down.”

Air France confirmed in a statement that one of the four engines on the Airbus A380 flight AF66 failed. The plane was carrying 496 passengers and 24 crew at the time, an Air France spokesperson told AFP news agency.

No-one was injured in the incident and the plane landed safely in Canada on three engines.

Photos taken by passengers showed the cowling, or engine covering, completely destroyed, and some cosmetic damage to the wing’s surface.

Passengers were stranded on the plane in Canada for hours after landing as the airport is not equipped to handle an Airbus A380.

Mr Rehmar said passengers had been told two Air France 777s were on the way from Montreal to pick up the passengers.

Air France said passengers were being assisted and it was working to re-route them.