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Boeing cargo jet engine bursts into flames as debris falls on Dutch town

Two people have been injured after the jet engine of a Boeing cargo plane burst into flames shortly after taking off in the Netherlands.

Debris from the 747-400 jet fell on the Dutch town of Meerssen on Sunday afternoon when it got into trouble shortly after taking off from Maastricht airport.

An elderly woman was left with a head injury after being hit by a piece of the engine while a young child burned their hand by picking up another bit of smoldering metal.

The accident came after the engine of a Boeing 777 jet exploded in the skies over Denver at the weekend, showering debris on the city.

Two people have been injured in the Netherlands after the engine of a Boeing 747-400 cargo jet burst into flames, raining debris down on the town of Meerssen (pictured, a turbine blade stuck in the roof of a car)

The plane had just taken off from Maastricht airport around 4.10pm Sunday when a fire started in one of its engines, causing metal to fall from the sky

The plane had just taken off from Maastricht airport around 4.10pm Sunday when a fire started in one of its engines, causing metal to fall from the sky

The plane, which belonged to Bermuda-based Longtail Aviation (file image), was bound for New York but immediately ran into trouble

 The plane, which belonged to Bermuda-based Longtail Aviation (file image), was bound for New York but immediately ran into trouble

The 747 jet involved in the accident in the Netherlands was using a Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engine, a smaller version of one involved in the explosion over Denver.

Dutch safety inspectors said the 747 aircraft belonged to Bermuda-based Longtail Aviation and had taken off from Maastricht airport around 4.10pm on Sunday.

The aircraft was bound for New York JFK airport and was due to pass through UK airspace, skirting Sheffield and Manchester along the way.

But it got into trouble moments after takeoff, causing debris to rain from the sky.

An elderly woman was hurt by a piece of falling metal while a child burned their hand after picking up a smoldering piece

An elderly woman was hurt by a piece of falling metal while a child burned their hand after picking up a smoldering piece

Meerssen, where most of the debris was found, is located just two miles from the end of the runway in Maastricht.

The 30-year-old aircraft was diverted to Liege airport, in neighbouring Belgium, but spent some time circling above the Ardennes at 10,000ft to burn fuel and lose weight before landing.

Photos from Meerssen show a broken piece of engine turbine blade embedded in the top of a car, while other pieces littered the pavement.

Several homes were also damaged by the falling engine pieces, Dutch national broadcaster NOS reported. 

A Dutch air safety spokesman said it appears that the fire started in one of the jet’s four engine shortly after takeoff.

While the exact cause of the damage is unknown, the spokesman said it appears the engine has sucked up an object which caused the turbine blades to break.

The Dutch Air Safety Board has started an investigation into the fire, but would not comment further. Boeing is referring all queries to investigators.

The accident took place just a day after another Boeing 777 jet suffered an explosion in one of its engines in the skies above Colorado.

The accident came just a day after the engine of another Boeing jet - a United Airlines 777 passenger plane - exploded in the skies over Denver

The accident came just a day after the engine of another Boeing jet – a United Airlines 777 passenger plane – exploded in the skies over Denver 

The image above shows smoke emanating from the damaged engine on the left

The image above shows smoke emanating from the damaged engine on the left

The Broomfield Police Department posted photos on Twitter showing large, circular pieces of debris leaning against a house in the suburb about 25 miles north of Denver

The Broomfield Police Department posted photos on Twitter showing large, circular pieces of debris leaning against a house in the suburb about 25 miles north of Denver 

The Boeing 777-200 aircraft, carrying 231 passengers and 10 crew, was heading to Honolulu on Saturday from Denver International Airport when debris struck the plane’s right engine, causing it to erupt into flames.

The captain had been giving an announcement over the intercom when a large explosion rocked the cabin, accompanied by a bright flash.

Huge pieces of the engine, including a near-intact nacelle – the rim around the front of the jet intake – fell on the city of Denver, hitting homes and sports fields.

 The incident forced the pilot to make an emergency landing back in Denver just 20 minutes after take-off, at around 1.30pm local time.

Remarkably, there were no injuries reported either on board the flight or on the ground.

Video taken on board the plane revealed the terrifying image of the flaming jet engine visible from passengers’ windows, and the moment the plane touched back down to rings of applause.


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