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El Al Plane's Engine Breaks Apart in Mid-Air

An El Al plane flying from London to Tel Aviv was forced to turn back after one of its engines failed and began falling apart
By David Lev
First Publish: 7/5/2012, 11:22 AM

El Al plane
El Al plane
Flash 90

An El Al plane flying from London to Tel Aviv was forced to turn back to Heathrow Airport Wednesday night, after one of its engines failed. All 390 passengers on board Fight 318 were safe, and they were transferred to another plane. Passengers were forced to remain on the ground while arrangements were made for an alternative flight, and many of the passengers will not be arriving until mid-afternoon Thursday.

The plane's crew declared an emergency shortly after takeoff when one of the Boeing 747-400's engines failed. The engine began breaking apart in mid-air, creating panic among passengers, although El Al said they were not in danger. One report said that a woman suffered a heart attack, but that was not confirmed by the airline.

The plane managed to turn around and land in Heathrow Airport. The plane is now grounded, and El Al, Boeing and Heathrow investigators will be examining it closely to determine the cause of the mishap. Foul play is not suspected, although investigators said they were not ruling anything out.