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Engine failure forces Delta emergency landing in Florida

by Jorge Hernandez on February 21, 2011

An apparent engine failure forced 119 passengers and crew aboard Delta Flight 1846 from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to make an emergency landing back in Fort Lauderdale around 7:45 a.m. on Sunday February 20, reports NBC Miami.

The plane was heading to Minneapolis.

"There was a big explosion, a flash. And then you hear this screech, the braking was so intense," Kate Searls, a passenger, told the news source.

Pieces of the engine began to fall from the plane onto the ground in Port Everglades.

"When we stopped climbing, I knew something was wrong. It was scary but everything was fine and it turned out ok," another passenger explained to the news organization.

The cause of the engine failure is still unknown, although authorities have called the incident a "contained" engine failure, according to The Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Kathleen Bergen, a spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration, said that small parts of the plane such as turbine blades came off but did not break through the engine's cover, which would have caused a more serious problem.

The Boeing 737-800 with CFM56 engines "was climbing during takeoff when the pilots received an indicator warning of a possible problem with one of their engines. As a precautionary measure, they elected to return to FLL," Anthony Black, a Delta spokesman, told AOL Travel News.

Boeing 737's are the most common airliners in the world, equipped with twin engines and meant to carry about 162 to 189 passengers, according to Business Week.

The CFM56 engines come from CFM International, which is run by General Electric and Safran SA, a French aerospace defense and security company.

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