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Report on Jet Mishap Expected Next Week

August 31, 2000

WESTCHESTER — Investigators studying a jumbo jet engine that spewed big pieces of its rear assembly during takeoff from Los Angeles International Airport expect to have a preliminary report on their findings in about a week, an official said Wednesday.

Investigators found animal matter in the engine Tuesday, suggesting that a bird may have been ingested. Samples were sent to Washington for DNA testing.

The discovery led officials to refocus on the possibility that a bird was sucked into one of the four engines of the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747 during takeoff Sunday on a flight to Amsterdam, officials said.

An exhaust nozzle and cone plummeted onto Dockweiler State Beach but no one on the ground was hurt. The plane, carrying 449 people, returned safely to the airport after dumping fuel over the ocean.

Investigators continued to consider other possibilities, such as a part of the engine coming loose. A Federal Aviation Administration spokesman noted that smaller birds are regularly ingested by engines and ejected without incident.

Richard Parker of the National Transportation Safety Board said it would probably take several weeks for investigators to complete a more thorough examination of the engine.

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