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I had a similar problem.

I drive a 2003 BMW 525i. On August 27 when hurricane Irene hit U.S. Northeast, my car got stuck in paddle of water by my house, and the engine shut off. The water had gotten inside the engine air intake system. I called my mechanic who advised that I let the engine dry. I did let it dry and was able to start it later on after a few attempts.

Then on September 25, 2011 early afternoon I was driving on a newly paved road and all the sudden I heard a huge noise under the hood. I immediately slowed down and pulled over. The noise continued till the stopping point. I also noticed that the engine oil was leaking all the way from the point where I heard the noise to the point where I stopped the car. By the way, the "check oil level" warning had already come on by the time I stopped the engine. I walked back to the explosion point and picked up a sample of broken thick metal pieces. I got towed into the shop, and the mechanic said the pieces are parts of the engine block. He also said my engine is broken to the point of no repair. The engine needed to be replaced. The problem is internal, i.e., some parts collided internally, which caused the engine block to blow up. To my best judgment, this is due to the water that got into the engine during the Irene Hurricane incident.

A few days before the incident, I had had engine oil and filter changed and all other fluids checked and filled. At the same time I had the coolant flushed, the reason being that I had the engine had overheated a few days earlier (following Irene incident) while I was getting stuck in traffic in New York City. When it overheated, this was the only time in over 2 years I've driven the car; I pulled over right away and waited till it cooled down. The car ran beautifully afterward, till the worst happened on Sunday Sept 25, 2011.