Jet engine parts fall on town in Brazil

SAO PAULO — Engine pieces from a U.S. plane fell from the sky early Thursday in Brazil, hitting 22 houses and a car but sparing passengers and residents on the ground.

Pieces of one of the turbines of the Boeing DC-10 plunged to the ground in the Amazon jungle town of Manaus in northern Brazil. The plane is owned by the Miami, Florida-based Arrow Cargo company.

Television images showed houses with damage to their roofs as an engine piece nearly 6 feet long lay nearby in front of amazed onlookers.

Residents said the piece was still on fire after hitting a parked car.

“You’re sound asleep when suddenly you hear a noise and open your window to see something like that on fire on your doorstep,” resident Aparecida Silva told Globo TV. “I didn’t know what it was. Fortunately, it didn’t hit anyone.”

That particular piece — which appeared to be the tip of the turbine — weighed about 550 pounds, according to Globo, which also reported that a church was hit by one of the engine parts.

Arrow Cargo’s station manager in Manaus, Rai Marinho, said the company will pay local residents for the damage to their property.

Marinho said that the plane, with four people aboard, was able to continue flying using its other two engines. Three crew members and a mechanic were aboard the aircraft, which apparently encountered engine problems about five minutes after takeoff, Marinho said.

The flight, headed to Bogota, Colombia, was later diverted by bad weather to Medellin, where it landed without problems, the Colombian air force said.

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