Engine blowout forces Air France flight to divert to Newfoundland

An Air France flight bound for Los Angeles was forced to make an emergency landing in Newfoundland, Canada Saturday afternoon after one of the aircraft's engines blew out over the Atlantic Ocean.

Passengers on the Airbus A380 tweeted pictures of the damaged engine, with one man saying he felt a "loud thud and a lot of vibration."

Another passenger tweeted the sardonic caption, "I think the engine has seen better days."

"We heard this tremendous bang. It was like the plane hit a Jeep at 35,000 feet," passenger Pamela Adams told the Associated Press in a telephone interview. "We grabbed onto something and then we sat down, and the plane righted itself fairly soon."

Passengers nervously joked to one another as they tried to make sense of the commotion, Adams said. She figured the plane had struck a bird, but then, it became clear that the situation was more dramatic.

The pilot came on over the loudspeaker and said the plane had lost one of its engines and would be landing in Canada, Adams said.

CBC News, citing air traffic control transmissions, reported that the plane landed in Goose Bay at around 1:40 p.m. local time and scattered debris across the runway. The runway was briefly closed while the debris was cleared. The crew handed out meals as they waited on the runway for hours.

In a statement, Air France praised the pilots and cabin crew on Flight 66 out of Paris' Charles de Gaulle Aiport, who they said "handled this serious incident perfectly." The statement added that the engine had suffered "serious damage," but declined to elaborate.

Air France said it brought in two flights to carry the 497 passengers from Goose Bay to Los Angeles.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.