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updated: 9/4/2017 5:07 PM

British Airways flight returns to O'Hare after loud engine boom

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A British Airways flight departing Chicago O'Hare International Airport Sunday evening was forced to return after encountering engine problems that created a loud boom shortly after takeoff, authorities confirmed Monday.

The plane was flying over Arlington Heights when the boom was heard.

Witnesses reported seeing flames coming from one of the engines and the plane dumping fuel midair. A passenger reported a loud noise after takeoff and that the captain announced an engine was lost.

The plane circled over Lake Michigan for about 90 minutes dumping fuel, according to news reports.

Palatine resident Henrique Talizin said he and some relatives were outside his father-in-law's house on Lake Louise Drive when they heard a loud noise, followed by what sounded like a helicopter.

"As soon as I heard the noise, I looked up and saw the plane flying north kind of low," he said. "I could see some sparks coming out of one of the engines."

The jet was on its way to London. It landed safely at O'Hare "without incident at 7:42 p.m.," a Chicago Department of Aviation spokeswoman said.

"The engine experienced a surge in power and our flight crew took the immediate action of shutting the engine down," according to a statement from a British Airways spokeswoman. "This is standard practice and a procedure our highly trained flight crew will practice during their rigorous and regular testing.

"The flight landed safely and our team at the airport looked after our customers, arranging hotel accommodation and rebooking them on the next available flight. We're very sorry for the disruption that has been caused to our customers' travel plans."

• Daily Herald staff writer Lauren Rohr contributed to this report.

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