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Delta jet-engine failure at 18,000 feet draws U.S. safety probe

Staff Writer |
U.S. safety regulators are investigating an engine failure on a Delta Air Lines Inc. jet that forced pilots to shut down the turbine and return to Atlanta shortly after takeoff.

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The accident occurred Wednesday on a Boeing Co. 757-200 bound for Orlando, Florida, the National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday on Twitter. Delta Flight 1418, which had 121 passengers and six crew members, landed safely and there were no injuries. The engine failure occurred at about 18,000 feet, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Delta incident is at least the fourth since August 2016 in which an engine failure has allowed debris to escape. The powerplants are designed with a hardened exterior so that even in the event of a blowout, fan blades and other components can’t get out and threaten fuel tanks, passengers and other sensitive aircraft structures.

Flight 1418 “experienced a maintenance issue in the right engine shortly after takeoff,” Anthony Black, a Delta spokesman, said in an interview. All maintenance on the engines is performed by Delta’s TechOps unit.

The Atlanta-based carrier is cooperating with the NTSB investigation, Black said.

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