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Just minutes after departing from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport Saturday, Norwegian Flight 7115 to Los Angeles started raining engine parts on a suburb near the Italian capital.
According to Italian media reports, the debris came from the plane’s left engine and gave one pedestrian minor burns in Isola Sacra, a neighborhood near Rome’s airport in Fiumicino. The incident also damaged houses and cars in the area.
Eyewitnesses said the glowing pieces of metal were like bullets falling from the sky, others said it was a stroke of good luck that there were not more injuries or worse property damage.
In a statement, Norwegian confirmed that Flight 7115, which was carrying 298 passengers and 12 crew, returned to the airport and landed safely shortly after takeoff. No one onboard was injured and Italian authorities are investigating what happened.
The incident comes amid turbulence at Norwegian, Boeing (which manufactured the airframe) and Rolls Royce (which produced the engine).
In July, Norwegian’s CEO abruptly stepped down from his post as the company shifted its strategy to focus on its most profitable routes. The airline has also been caught up in Boeing’s recent struggles as the 737 MAX forms a crucial segment of the airline’s fleet.
Meanwhile, Rolls Royce’s Trent 1000 engines, which power many of Norwegian’s 787s, including the aircraft that operated Flight 7115, have been suffering from reliability issues. The engines have needed to undergo early maintenance, and some airlines even had to temporarily ground their 787 fleets.
Featured image by Victor / Flickr
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