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A Continental Airlines plane on Saturday made a safe emergency landing in Ben-Gurion Airport after an engine failure caused the pilot to change route and head back to the Israeli airport shortly after takeoff.

The Boeing 777 plane, carrying 241 passengers on board, had to circle the Israeli airspace in order to be rid of excess fuel weight before finally landing in the airport, while Ben-Gurion air traffic controllers declared a state of emergency.

The plane eventually landed safely, after airport's safety precautions called over 70 ambulances to the scene. Upon landing, an initial investigation found that the engine temperature was above normal, following an electric short circuit.

A passenger on the flight told Haaretz that no panic was felt. "Everyone was calm," he said. "The pilot explained that there was problem but that he did not foresee trouble landing. Only after landing did we start getting worried phone-calls from relatives telling us that we had made a forced emergency landing. We weren;t even aware that this was the case."