Passengers reacted with horror after the engine of an Air France plane from Paris to the USA disintegrated in the sky, forcing the aircraft into an emergency landing.

Horrifying video footage shows part of the plane’s engine flapping in the air as it flew over the Atlantic Ocean with 520 passengers on board.

Travellers described how everything seemed normal until they heard a “loud thud and a lot of vibration” before the pilot declared a mayday this afternoon.

Ground crews were left to “pick up pieces of the plane from the runway”, one passenger added.

Flight records show the Airbus A380 aircraft, travelling under flight number AF66, was diverted to Canada’s Goose Bay airport on its journey from Paris to Los Angeles.

The mangled front of the engine where the metal has been shredded

Part of the jet’s engine can be seen flapping in the wind in one passenger’s video footage
A side-by-side photo showing the damaged engine next to a functioning one

Travellers described hearing a loud thud before the plane began vibrating

Air France confirmed there was “serious damage” to one of the plane’s four engines before before it landed safely.

One traveller said on Twitter the engine had “blown over the Atlantic Ocean”, leading to the emergency landing in Canada.

Another, named Daniel McNeely, said: “I’m on board. One of our engines is slightly blown apart. Just glad to be on the ground.”

A large section of the engine ‘blew out’ over the ocean

There were 520 passengers on board when the engine disintegrated

Terrified passengers look out of the window of the jet

Air France #AF66 operated by an Airbus A380 diverted to Goose Bay after engine #4 blown up over Greenland! (pic: Brand Martin)
The flight, bound for Los Angeles, was diverted to Goose Bay airport in Canada

He later added, alongside a photo of the engine: “I think the engine has seen better days.”

Peter Cowan also shared an image of the engine and wrote: “This is the reason ground crews had to pick up pieces of the plane off the runway after landing.”

Goose Bay airport is a small site not normally equipped to handle such large aircraft, according to passengers.

A map showing the course of the plane before its emergency landing

Th Air France Airbus A380 plane declared a mid-air emergency over the Atlantic (file photo)

Air France said in a statement: “Air France confirms that the crew of flight AF66 decided to divert to Goose Bay airport following serious damage on one of its four engines.

“The plane landed safely at 3.42pm and the regularly trained pilots and cabin crew handled this serious incident perfectly.

“The passengers are currently being assisted by teams dispatched to the location.

“Air France is currently working to re-route the passengers to Los Angeles via one of its connecting platforms in North America.”

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