One of the two engines on a Norwegian airlines operated Boeing 787 Dreamliner failed shortly takeoff from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport sending metal parts spewing out of the engine and over a residential area of the Italian capital. The plane, with 310 passengers and crew onboard, had just departed Rome bound for Los Angeles when the engine suffered a “technical problem”.
According to Italian newspaper La Repubblica, at least 25 vehicles and 12 houses were hit and damaged by engine parts in Saturday’s incident.
Images shared on social media showed damaged window screens on a number of cars in the Fiumicino and Isola Sacra districts, including a police car which had its entire rear window smashed by debris from the engine. According to the mayor of Fiumicino, one man was even hit by debris but was luckily left uninjured.
Onboard the plane were 298 passengers, along with three flight crew and nine cabin crew – the plane was able to safely return to the airport where it landed normally and passengers disembarked without incident via steps. Some passengers, however, have hit out at Norwegian following their return to Rome because of a lack of information provided by the airline.
@Fly_Norwegian terrible service ! Make an effort to do the right thing and help us. All you need to do is provide the service and help us get in to a flight back home. Rome to LAX flight DY 7115. You are calling it cancelled but it wasn’t. We were in flight. #getushome pic.twitter.com/lPpmFIg8CJ
— MRivas (@Manrivas441) August 10, 2019
@Fly_Norwegian @TravelGov @LaRepubblica_it @BBCBreaking @cnnbrk @OSACState
Norwegian Air abandoned 250+ passengers at Rome Airport after an explosion caused single engine failure on a flight that should have been midway across the Atlantic right now.
— Sofia Kirchen (@SofiaKirchen) August 10, 2019
In a statement, the Oslo-based low-cost long-haul airline said it was working with its airport handling agents in Rome to help passengers book them onto alternative flights to Los Angeles.
“Flight DY 7115 from Rome Fiumicino to Los Angeles had a technical problem a few minutes after take-off this afternoon at 4.27 pm, Rome local time. The aircraft, therefore, returned to Fiumicino airport where it landed in complete safety,” a spokesperson for Norwegian is reported to have said.
“The safety of passengers and crew is the top priority for Norwegian.”
Citing the ongoing investigation for being unable to comment further, the spokesperson said that it was working with national and city authorities to investigate the incident.
Norwegian’s fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s have been hit by ongoing issues with the Rolls-Royce powered engines for well over a year now. Airlines around the world have been forced to carry out enhanced inspections on the engines because of fears that the blades may deteriorate faster than originally inspected.
However, the authorities have not yet suggested what may have caused Saturday’s engine failure.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently used by some of the biggest names in journalism.