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Sydney airline grounds 5 planes after propeller drops off

This image made from video shows a passenger plane being moved at Sydney Airport, in Sydney, Australia Friday, March 17, 2017. The plane landed safely Friday after one of its two propellers fell off in an extraordinary emergency as it approached the airport. The Regional Express Airlines crew reported the right engine propeller assembly separated from the Saab 340 airliner 20 kilometers southwest of the airport, Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman Peter Gibson said. (AP/File)

Regional Express Airlines says it has grounded five passenger planes as a precaution after a near disaster in which a propeller fell off an airliner as it approached Sydney Airport.

A Saab 340 carrying 19 passengers and crew landed safely in Sydney on Friday after one its two propellers fell off over Sydney’s southwest fringe.

The Sydney-based airline, also known as Rex, said on Monday it had grounded another five of its fleet of 55 Saab 340s because their propeller gear boxes and shafts are from the same series as the defective propeller.

An Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigation team is examining the damaged aircraft. Investigators also want to examine the propeller for clues, but Rex says it has not been found.

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