AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – An incident involving a Boeing 747-400 cargo plane that dropped its engine parts after an air blast and fire over the south of the Netherlands on Saturday is under investigation, the Dutch Safety Council said.
Maastricht Airport spokesperson Hela Hendricks said the Longtail Aviation cargo plane, Flight 5504, had scattered small metal parts over the Dutch town of Mersen, causing damage and injury to a woman shortly after takeoff.
The Bermuda-registered plane, which was flying from Maastricht to New York, was powered by Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines, a smaller version of that on a United Airlines Boeing 777 involved in an accident in Denver, on Saturday as well.
After that incident, Boeing recommended airlines to suspend operations of some older versions of the 777 airliner powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines, variants currently in service by five airlines.
US regulators announced additional inspections and Japan suspended their use as further measures are considered.
Hendrix said that in the Dutch accident, eyewitnesses heard one or two explosions shortly after take-off and air traffic control told the pilot that one of the engines had caught fire.
“The pictures indicate that they were parts of the engine blade, but this is under investigation,” she said.
Several cars were damaged and several houses were severely damaged. Plots were found in the residential neighborhood on the roofs, gardens and streets. “
Longtail Aviation said it was “too early to speculate what might be causing the problem” and that it was working with the Dutch, Belgian, Bermuda and UK authorities to look into the accident.
Dozens of pieces fell, about 5 cm wide and 25 cm long, Hendrix said.
The plane landed safely at Liege Airport in Belgium, about 30 kilometers south of the Dutch border.
Boeing referred questions to the Dutch authorities.
A spokesman for the Dutch Safety Council said on Monday, “Our investigation is still in its preliminary stage and it is too early to draw conclusions.”
Europe’s aviation regulator said Monday it was aware of the Pratt & Whitney jet engine accidents and was requesting information on the causes to determine what action might be needed.