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Delta jet lands safely after engine fails, sending parts flying

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An engine on a Delta Air Lines jet failed so violently in Atlanta that shrapnel escaped from the power plant's hardened exterior, US investigators said.

[ORLANDO, Florida] An engine on a Delta Air Lines jet failed so violently in Atlanta that shrapnel escaped from the power plant's hardened exterior, US investigators said.

The National Transportation Safety Board opened an investigation into the incident on Wednesday, which occurred as the Boeing 757 departed on a flight to Orlando, Florida, the NTSB said in a tweet.

Flight 1418, which had 127 people aboard, returned safely to Atlanta after pilots shut the engine down.

Engines are designed with a hardened exterior so that fan blades and other heavy metal parts cannot escape in the event of a failure, a measure to protect nearby fuel tanks, passengers and other sensitive aircraft structure.

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Such breakdowns are known as "uncontained" failures.

The NTSB is also investigating a similar failure on a Southwest Airlines flight above Pennsylvania on April 17 that resulted in a woman's death.

The engine on the Boeing 737 lost a fan blade, which careened in front of the engine's protective shield and tore off the front of the engine.

After debris broke a window, the woman was partially sucked out of the plane.

Delta did not immediately return telephone and email requests for comment.

The NTSB did not provide further details.

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