Air France A380 flight diverted after engine suffers 'serious damage' over Atlantic Ocean

Passengers on board an Air France flight bound for Los Angeles were held in the grip of fear after one of the A380’s engines fell apart mid-flight.

Air France flight AF 066 took off from Paris carrying 496 passengers before it was forced to land at Goose Bay Airport in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, after one of its four engines suffered serious damage.

Horrified passengers snapped photos and video of the A380’s engine with steel peeling off it above the Atlantic Ocean.

Passengers said they heard a loud bang. Source: Twitter/ Alex Beaurepaire

Former aircraft mechanic David Rehmar told the BBC it appeared the engine had suffered a fan failure.

He said he and other passengers thought the plane was going down after hearing a "loud boom".

Air France says the flight's crew made the decision to divert the plane, adding the pilots and crew handled the situation "perfectly".

The airline said it was flying too high to have hit a bird.

The plane had to be diverted to Canada. Source: Twitter/ Alex Beaurepaire

It says teams were dispatched to assist the passengers and the airline is working to re-route the passengers to LA.

A similar incident occurred in November 2010 when a Qantas A380 flight avoided disaster after one of its engines exploded.

The Sydney-bound A380 was leaving Singapore’s Changi Airport travelling at about 7,000ft when an engine sustained rotor failure.

Pieces of debris thought to have been from the plane were found in Indonesian island of Batam, according to local reports.

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Qantas and Singapore Airlines responded by grounding all A380 aircraft.

No one was hurt in the incident.