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“Everyone on our side flung open their windows just to see what it was,” Ms. Ebert said in a phone interview. “The casing to the engine had sort of flown off. There were pieces flying into the ocean, nuts and bolts flying out a little bit. A bolt hit the wing, and it just made this huge bam.”

Michael Nielson, seated in the middle section of the twin-engine Boeing 777, said flight attendants told passengers to return to their seats immediately and fasten their seatbelts. “The plane shook violently for the better part of five minutes,” he said in an email. Later, “the shaking subsided to constant, heavy vibration that stuck around for the rest of the flight.”

Ms. Ebert said the shaking was more intense than she had ever experienced, even on turbulent flights. “Back and forth,…



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