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Troubled airliner returns; debris sprinkles area

A TWA flight heading to New York returned to Miami Tuesday and landed safely after reporting trouble with one of its two engines. Authorities said several cars and a passer-by were hit by falling debris.

None of the 100 passengers and crew aboard the MD-80 jetliner was injured, according to police. They said the incident involved TWA Flight 4 from Miami International Airport to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

"We got the call at 2:15 p.m. that the pilot had contacted the tower that his left engine had blown out," said Miami-Dade police Detective Rudy Espinosa.

"Subsequently, we received reports from people that aircraft parts had fallen on their property," said Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the FAA in Atlanta.

"The last I heard it was at least nine vehicles that were damaged, ranging from shattered windshields to dents on the hoods or trunks," Espinosa said. "There was a lady that was walking there and she felt something hit her shoulder, and when she touched it, it was hot, but she wasn't hurt."

Opinion: Communities can

restrict car cell phone use

TALLAHASSEE _ Florida cities and towns can regulate drivers' use of cell phones, Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth said.

In an opinion issued Monday, Butterworth wrote that local governments can impose restrictions on drivers' use of cell phones without running afoul of state law.

The attorney general was responding to an inquiry from Miami-Dade County's village of Pinecrest, which is considering requiring drivers to use headsets.

Local governments may impose regulations because no state law addresses cell phone use while driving, Butterworth wrote.

_ Wire reports

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