Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Netherlands opens investigation into Boeing 747-400 freighter incident


Dutch police opened an investigation into an incident that affected a Boeing 747-400 cargo plane on Saturday, with small parts of the aircraft coming loose and falling in the south of the Netherlands, leaving two people injured.

The incident occurred on the same day that another Boeing model, a United Airlines 777, with 241 people on board, was forced to return to Denver airport in Colorado after a fire in the right reactor , having landed safely and without any problems.

The incident today prompted the manufacturer to recommend the immobilization of 128 model 777 aircraft that are in service (69) or stored (59), with Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines, Boeing said in a statement.

In the Netherlands, it happened with a cargo plane, the Boeing 747-400, which encountered difficulties just seconds after taking off from Maastricht-Aix-La-Chapelle airport, also with a fire in an engine.

“We are already carrying out a technical investigation. We will see if there is any responsibility for everything that happened. The Boeing company will be questioned, ”a spokesman for the Dutch police told the France-Presse news agency (AFP) who requested anonymity.

The aircraft, destined for New York, carrying goods, including pharmaceuticals, landed emergency, also safely, at Liège airport in neighboring Belgium.

The Dutch press today released photos that circulated on social media of the device’s wreckage in Meerssen, near Maastricht, in particular of one that fell on top of a car.

“I am as shocked as everyone in town”, Meerssen Mayor Mirjam Clermonts-Aretz, who witnessed part of the scene, told AFP.

Clermonts-Aretz, who lives near the airport, said he heard “detonations from the plane”, specifying that “many pieces” of the device fell.

According to the mayor, at least two people were injured by the fall of the wreckage, an elderly woman and a child, and the first victim spent a night in hospital observation.

The Maastricht-Aachen airport, based in the Netherlands, regretted the incident and said it was trying to contact the victims’ relatives, without specifying for what.

The American manufacturer Boeing has had serious problems in recent years with another of its models, the 737 MAX, which was immobilized for 20 months due to two accidents that caused 346 deaths in six months.

One such device suffered an accident on an Ethiopian Airlines flight in March 2019, which left 157 dead, and on a Lion Air flight in Indonesia in October 2018, another accident caused 189 deaths.

Commercial flights of the Boeing 737 MAX were resumed in December 2020, first in Brazil and then in the United States and Canada.

The first commercial flight in Europe took place on February 17, by the Belgian airline TUI Fly.

On the “777” model, Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) also announced the immobilization of 13 and 19 aircraft of this type, respectively.

According to several North American media, the only airlines that use the “777” model are located in the United States, Japan and South Korea.





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