NTSB Probes Into Engine Explosion

Safety officials are investigating why an engine on a Boeing 767 blew up during maintenance at Los Angeles Airport this month.

The National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday one of the two engines on the American Airlines plane blew apart during a test run, sending pieces into the fuselage and the other engine, punching holes into the wings and scattering pieces as far as 3,000 feet away. General Electric Co. makes the engine.

No one was aboard the airplane during the accident and no one was hurt. The possibility, though, that an engine might explode in flight prompted NTSB investigators to spend four days at the accident scene.

An analysis at the NTSB Materials Laboratory found indications of cracks resulting from metal fatigue.

This week, the NTSB is supervising a teardown of the engine at an American Airlines maintenance facility in Tulsa, Okla.

U.S.-made engines are regarded as extremely reliable, but there have been problems with fatigue cracking in certain engine parts.

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