The aircraft, operating as flight 84 to Tel Aviv, was taking off on Newark’s runway 4L with 260 passengers and 16 crewmembers, when its right-side General Electric GE90-94B engine suffered the contained failure.
A GE spokeswoman says ground personnel observed “a flash of fire” from the number two engine during the takeoff roll, and the pilots abandoned the takeoff attempt after the engine lost power.
The aircraft was towed back to the gate.
According to FAA officials, debris exited the rear of the engine indicating a contained rather than an uncontained failure.
The airport closed the runway for over an hour to clean up the debris, a move that caused “some impact to operations”, says a FAA spokeswoman.
A substitute aircraft departed Newark for Tel Aviv later that night. Continental expected to have the 777 restored to service with a replacement engine by this evening.
GE, which is working with the FAA and Continental on the investigation, says this type of failure has not occurred on a GE90-94B engine before.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) officials in New York verified that the incident does not appear to be a more severe uncontained engine failure, and as such, no NTSB investigation has been launched.