Debris that detached from a departing Norwegian Air flight allegedly rained down “like bullets” on a neighbourhood just outside of Rome, reports Aviation Business ME.
The incident is now being investigated by Italian authorities.
Residents of Isola Sacra, a neighborhood in the city of Fiumicino, south of the Rome-Fiumicino International Airport, reported damage to cars, rooftops and awnings, and injuries caused by the metal shards that fell from the sky.
Photos from the damage shared on social media and aviation blogs show several of the shards, which are described as being between 2 and 4 inches long, as well as some of the damage they caused to car windshields.
Norwegian Air says the flight, which departed for Los Angeles on Aug 10, safely returned to Fiumicino after experiencing a “technical issue a few minutes after take-off,” but would not specify what the issue was. A news release shared by Italy’s National Agency for Flight Safety, which is currently investigating, blamed “engine problems” for the incident.
The aircraft, a Boeing 787, was taken out of service.
The airline also confirmed that the 298 passengers aboard the flight were booked on to other flights, while reiterating the carrier's commitment to safety.
Norwegian Air said in a statement: “The safety of customers and crew is always our main priority. We are actively collaborating with Aeroporti di Roma and the Italian authorities in the investigation. As it is an ongoing investigation, we cannot comment of specific aspects of this event."