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The Independent Online
Pensacola (Reuter) - Federal safety investigators were yesterday examining this twisted remainder of an engine in an attempt to discover why it blew apart, spewing shrapnel into a Delta Air Lines MD-88 aircraft and killing a mother and her 12-year-old son.

The freak accident occurred as Delta Flight 1288 at Pensacola Regional Airport in Florida, prepared to take off for Atlanta. The victims, later named as Anita and Nolan Saxton of Scottville, Michigan, died almost immediately from injuries caused by flying bits of metal that penetrated the fuselage, airport officials said.

A spokesman for the engine manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney, said a fan blade may have failed in the front of the engine, which in turn threw debris from the broken blade.