The engine of a Boeing 747 exploded in midair Saturday over the Netherlands, dropping metal debris that injured two people, according to Dutch authorities.

The plane, a cargo jet operated by charter company Longtail Aviation, began experiencing engine problems shortly after it took off from the town of Maastricht in the Netherlands, bound for New York City, CNN reported.

Witnesses heard explosions, and air traffic control informed the pilot that one of the plane’s engines was on fire, according to Reuters. The plane scattered parts over the Dutch town of Meerssen, injuring two people and damaging property. One widely circulated photo of the destruction shows what appears to be a part of an engine blade wedged in the roof of a car like a knife stuck in a block of butter.

The plane made an emergency landing at Liege Airport, in Belgium.

The Boeing 747-400 freighter was powered by a smaller version of the same engines on the United Airlines Boeing 777 involved in a similar incident in Denver, also on Saturday, in which an engine exploded on a United flight bound for Honolulu, raining debris on Denver suburbs. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency said Monday that the causes of the two explosions appear to be unrelated.

The Federal Aviation Administration ordered immediate stepped-up inspections of Boeing 777-200 airplanes equipped with those engines, manufactured by Pratt & Whitney.


Following recommendations from Boeing, airlines in the U.S. and Japan on Sunday grounded 777 jets using older Pratt & Whitney engines. The last time Boeing used an engine from that manufacturer in a 777 was in 2013.

Two other engine blowouts, on a United flight three years ago and a Japan Airlines jet in December, have occurred on planes with the same Pratt & Whitney engine.

Meanwhile, on Monday, a Boeing 757 operated by Delta Air Lines en route to Seattle from Atlanta made an emergency landing in Salt Lake City after flight crew noticed an indicator warning of a possible problem with one of its engines.

Boeing has only recently emerged from the nearly two-year grounding of its best-selling 737 MAX jet after fatal crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia.

A Boeing spokesperson Monday referred questions about the company’s 747 planes to the Dutch Safety Board and U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, which are investigating the incident in the Netherlands.

This article has been updated to reflect that Boeing 777 jets continued to be built with Pratt & Whitney engines until 2013.