Boeing plane engine bursts into flames before showering debris and injuring two

Two people were injured after a plane engine caught fire shortly after takeoff.

The Boeing 747 cargo plane's engine burst into flames moments after leaving Maastricht airport in the Netherlands on Sunday afternoon.

Dangerous debris fell on Dutch town Meerssen – just two miles from the airport, leading to an elderly woman suffering a head injury and a young child burning their hand after picking up a piece of red hot metal.

Dutch officials said the aircraft was owned by Longatail Aviation in Bermuda and left Maatricht airport at about 4.10pm.

Heading to New York JFK Airport in the US, it was expected to enter UK airspace, flying over Manchester and Sheffield.

But the 30-year-old jet was instead ordered to burn excess fuel over the Ardennes before landing at Liege airport in Belgium.

Images of the damage reveal a piece of an engine turbine blade pierced a car roof and debris strewn scattered across the streets.

Dutch media reported a number of homes were also damaged as parts of the engine hurtled down.

Earlier on Monday, a spokesperson for the Dutch Air Safety Board (DASB) said: "Our investigation is still in a preliminary phase, it is too early to draw conclusions."

Another DASB spokesperson said one of the plane's four engines ignited just moments after takeoff.

He added that while the cause of the fire remained unclear at this stage, an object may have been suck into the engine, damaging the turbine blades.

An investigation into the fire has been launched by DASB. Boeing is referring all queries to the Dutch authorities.

A day earlier, a Boeing 777 jet's engine exploded as it flew over Colorado in the US.

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