updated 11/12/2004 7:14:46 PM ET 2004-11-13T00:14:46

Investigators are trying to identify the source of ice chunks that smashed through the roof of a house in this Seattle suburb last week, landing on the bed of a 7-year-old girl.

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They believe the ice formed on an aircraft and broke free, potentially indicating a mechanical or design problem, said Mike Fergus, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

“It’s a safety issue,” Fergus said.

Investigators are certain it was not “blue ice,” which comes from leaking airplane lavatories, he added.

Troy Halte said his family returned home Nov. 4 to find a hole in the ceiling of their daughter’s bedroom and five chunks of ice on the bed, three of them “the size of grapefruit.” Three more chunks had fallen in the back yard.

Fergus said FAA officials were reviewing air traffic control tapes to check for planes that passed over the neighborhood that afternoon.

Boeing Co. officials say ice can form on the leading edges of airplanes under some weather conditions, but a company official said she had never heard of the ice falling off and hitting the ground.

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