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Boeing 747 cargo plane with reported engine trouble makes emergency landing in Miami

This image taken from video provided by Melanie Adaros shows what she said were sparks shooting from a cargo plane before it made an emergency landing at Miami International Airport on Thursday.
Melanie Adaros via AP
This image taken from video provided by Melanie Adaros shows what she said were sparks shooting from a cargo plane before it made an emergency landing at Miami International Airport on Thursday.

MIAMI — A witness saw sparks shooting from a cargo plane as it made an emergency landing at Miami International Airport shortly after takeoff.

The aircraft landed safely Thursday night "after experiencing an engine malfunction soon after departure," a spokesperson for Atlas Air said in a statement Friday. "The crew followed all standard procedures and safely returned to MIA."

The airplane was "shooting sparks" as it flew overhead, said Melanie Adaros, who was out for a walk with her mother and was about to turn into her home, when she heard and saw an approaching plane.

"There's always planes flying overhead, but they're little planes," she said. "But this didn't sound like a little plane. It sounded very low, so I turned ... You always see a plane going up or going down. This one was just at a steady level and it was shooting sparks. It was very surreal."

She recorded it with her phone, wondering "is it falling? Is it going to explode?" she said. "It seemed to do a big, wide, swerving turn" in the direction of Miami International Airport, she said.

The Boeing 747 was on its way to Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport in Puerto Rico when the crew reported an engine failure, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement Friday. Atlas Air Flight 95 then returned safely to Miami International Airport, the agency said.

Atlas will conduct an inspection to determine the cause, the spokesperson said.

Unverified videos on social media platform X showed flames shooting out of the wing of a plane near the airport while in flight.

Atlas Air hauls everything from machinery to perishable food and pharmaceuticals, and also provides charter services for passengers, according to its website. The company's parent firm, Atlas Air Worldwide, recently announced that it planned to move its headquarters from Purchase, New York, to White Plains, New York, this month.

Adaros, who lives near Miami Executive Airport about 15 miles southwest of Miami, said she shared her video with that airport, which confirmed a few minutes later that it had landed safely at Miami International.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The Associated Press