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Story highlights

Flight forced to make an emergency landing after incident at 37,000 feet

Engine parts spotted in rural Greenland

(CNN) —  

Parts of an engine that were lost by an Air France flight en route from Paris to Los Angeles last month have been spotted in Greenland, investigators say.

The double-deck Airbus A380 made an emergency landing at Goose Bay Airport on the eastern tip of Canada on September 30, after the French airline said it suffered “serious damage to one of its four engines.”

Photos from the flight showed the entire front part of the engine, including the large fan and engine’s casing, completely sheared away. The remaining portion of the outermost engine on the right side of the jet was streaked with a brown substance and there were no obvious signs of any external fire.

In a statement Thursday, the French Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA) said flight data was used to track the parts to a remote area of Greenland the agency described as “a wasteland covered with ice,” around 150 kilometers (93 miles) southeast of the city of Paamiut.

A helicopter operated by Air Greenland flew over the area and spotted parts from the engine.

“The BEA is in contact with its Danish counterpart to organize the recovery of these parts,” the statement said.

“The analysis of the data contained in the flight recorders will continue at the BEA laboratory. The engine computers will also be analyzed by the component manufacturer in the United States.”

According to data from Flightradar24, the Airbus A380, the largest passenger jet in the world, was flying at 37,000 feet when the incident occurred.

’Loud pop’

Sarah Eamigh, a passenger on the flight, told CNN partner CTV News that passengers sensed something was wrong during the flight.

“We heard a loud pop, and we had a quick descent along with some vibration. It definitely was not turbulence so we knew something was wrong,” she told the Canadian broadcaster.

“The captain was able to recover the plane quite fast, however, we were definitely nervous because the vibrating was probably occurring a good five to eight minutes. And then the captain basically 10 to 15 minutes after provided an announcement stating that we had a small engine explosion.”

Two additional aircraft had to be sent to recover the 497 passengers who were on the enormous jetliner and take them to Los Angeles.

CNN’s Madison Park and Jon Ostrower contributed reporting.