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    Shock as shower of sparks burst from plane engine


    by ODN


    A Qantas jet headed for Australia returned safely to San Francisco International Airport early on Tuesday after a problem with one of the engines forced pilots to turn back.

    Flight 74, carrying 212 passengers and a crew of 18, left San Francisco for Sydney. But about 15 minutes into the flight, the crew noticed vibration in engine No. 4, Qantas Airways spokesman said by telephone from Sydney.

    The crew shut down one of the four engines on the Boeing 747 and sought priority clearance to return to San Francisco.

    There were no injuries during the emergency landing, Qantas Airways spokesman said, and the plane was able to pull up to the jetway at the terminal so passengers could deplane.

    A Qantas Airways spokesman said there was no fire, but an engine surge can often cause what appear to be flames. The sparks created a large hole in the engine cowling, the metal shell around the engine.

    Qantas put the passengers up in hotels for the night and planned to make arrangements for them to get to Sydney on Tuesday, Qantas Airways spokesman said.