Boeing 747 engine debris rains down on Maastricht town

Boeing 747 engine debris rains down on Maastricht town

Residents in Meerssen - a town near Maastricht - faced an unusual and unexpected threat last weekend when a plane that had departed from Maastricht Aachen Airport scattered small engine parts wherever it went, leaving two people injured.

It’s raining...planes? In Maastricht?

The Boeing 747-400 cargo plane was heading from Maastricht to New York on February 21 when an apparent engine malfunction left the people of Meerssen ducking for cover. Witnesses of the event reported hearing explosions shortly after take-off, and the pilot informed air traffic control that one of the engines was on fire. 

Hella Hendriks, a spokeswoman for Maastricht airport, said dozens of small metal pieces fell over the city of Meerssen, measuring about five centimetres wide and up to 25 centimetres long: “Several cars were damaged and bits hit several houses. Pieces were found across the residential neighbourhood on roofs, gardens and streets.” Since the event, approximately 200 pieces have been collected and handed in to the police.

Dutch Safety Board launches investigation into incident

Luckily, the Longtail Aviation Flight landed safely in Liege, approximately 40 kilometres away. Longtail Aviation has said they are looking into the incident together with Dutch, Belgian, Bermuda, and UK authorities. The Dutch Safety Board has said it is too early to draw any conclusions. 

Coincidentally, the incident in Meerssen took place on the same day that a United States Airline Boeing 777 wreaked similar havoc in Denver, Colorado. Local residents were shocked to find a six-foot engine cover in their garden.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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