A United Airlines aircraft recently gave its passengers the scare of their lives after one of its engines suffered a massive failure during a flight between Denver and Honolulu.
The incident took place on Saturday, shortly after the plane departed from Denver International airport at 12:49. It has been reported that 231 passengers and 19 crew members were on board at the time.
Alex Renteria, a spokesperson for the airport, claimed that the aircraft safely returned to the airport at around 1:30 pm and that no injuries have been reported.
A United Airlines Boeing 777-200 at Denver International Airport with two open cargo holds ready to load nearby in Denver, Colorado | Photo: Myra Thompson via Shutterstock
According to the Broomfield Police Department, the engine failure caused debris to fall from the sky across several neighborhoods. One of the pieces narrowly missed a home.
The authorities have requested people not to touch or attempt to move the debris in order not to compromise the investigation led by the National Transportation Safety Board.
David Gonzalez, a spokesperson for United Airlines, said that all passengers and crew were deplaned and that officials immediately started working on getting the passengers on a new flight.
United Airlines also had issues that day with a flight between Cancun and Houston.
LEFT WITH A STORY TO TELL
As aforementioned, the incident left the passengers in quite a state of shock. David Delucia, who was aboard the aircraft, recalled how terrifying it was:
"The plane started shaking violently, and we lost altitude and we started going down. When it initially happened, I thought we were done. I thought we were going down."
Delucia and his wife, whose name is yet to be made public, were so convinced that the plane would crash that they put their driver's licenses in their pockets in case they needed to be identified.
Images of the debris scattered around Broomfield have been shared by the Police Department and the incident was even witnessed by some people on the street.
SEEN FROM THE GROUND
Tyler Thal, who was walking with his family, recalled how he noticed an aircraft flying unusually low, and how he saw the engine explode prior to the rain of debris:
"It was just like a speck in the sky and as I’m watching that, I’m telling my family what I just saw, and then we heard the explosion. The plane just kind of continued on and we didn’t see it after that.”
It has been reported that United Airlines also had issues that day with a flight between Cancun and Houston, which had to be diverted to New Orleans due to mechanical issues.