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Contact photographer Chris P Denton
What: Qantas Boeing 747-400 en route from San Francisco to Sydney
Where: San Francisco
When: Aug 31 2010, 12:45 a.m.
Who: 212 passengers, 19 crew
Why: After takeoff, the right engine failed (exploded), and disrupted the outer engine cowling. Observers reported “a thud, shower of sparks, and engine fire.”
On board, the pilot announced that the captain announced that an engine blew up. The crew shut down the afflicted engine, dumped fuel over the Pacific and returned to San Francisco where it made a safe landing. Inside while landing, passengers cheered.
Passengers were provided hotel accommodations. There were no injuries. Experts have noted the rarity of this type of engine explosion, and also mention how lucky passengers are it occurred facing “out” – although the engine is built to contain exploding particles.
* The 747 has 4 engines.