Air France A380 suffers serious engine damage after 'tremendous bang'

Alison Chung, News Reporter

A passenger flight from Paris to California was forced to make an emergency landing following "serious damage" to one of its four engines.

Air France confirmed flight AF066 landed safely after being diverted to Goose Bay airport in Canada.

Passengers described hearing a loud bang and felt a sudden movement before the Airbus A380 superjumbo, the world's biggest passenger plane, seemed to steady itself.

Rick Engebretsen told Sky News: "Loud thud and vibration indicating a catastrophic failure of an important component. Turned out to be the engine. It felt like we hit a big pothole.

"It occurred about the time everyone was resting. Everyone immediately woke up and started preparing for a crash. It settled down once the pilots found the right speed and altitude.

"A lot of very scared people on the plane. Including myself."

Fellow passenger Pamela Adams told the Associated Press: "We heard this tremendous bang. It was like the plane hit a Jeep at 35,000ft.

"We grabbed onto something and then we sat down, and the plane righted itself fairly soon."

She said she thought the plane had struck a bird, but then, it became clear that the situation was more dramatic.

The pilot soon came on over the loudspeaker and explained the jet had lost one of its engines and would be landing in Canada, Ms Adams said.

The plane landed 90 minutes later and Air France brought in two flights to fly the 497 passengers from Goose Bay to Los Angeles.