An official said that after taking off from Denver International Airport on Saturday, a United Airlines plane experienced an engine failure but landed safely after falling debris in northern Colorado.
According to reports, the plane to Hawaii is a Boeing 777 with 10 crew members and 231 passengers on board.
Frightening video recorded from inside the aircraft showed the damaged engine on fire.
“When it first happened, I thought we were done. I thought we were going down,” David Delucia, a passenger traveling with his wife, told The Associated Press.
He told the Associated Press that after hearing the explosion and seeing a flash, De Lucia said he quickly stuffed his wallet into his pocket, thinking that if he did not survive, it would help rescuers more easily identify his body.
Many debris landed in Commons Park and the Northmoor and Red Leaf communities in Broomfield, which are located about 20 miles north of downtown Denver.
Miraculously, there were no reports of injuries on the plane or on the ground.
The Associated Press reported that the damaged engine caused the aircraft to lose altitude and there was a cloud of black smoke on the ground.
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The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident and has asked the Colorado militia not to touch the debris when they find aircraft debris nearby.
Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg told MSNBC that he will work with the NTSB to investigate engine failures to “learn any lessons in a way that maximizes our sense of safety every time we board an airplane.”
Buttigieg told MSNBC: “The United States’ excellent aviation safety reputation is not just happening.” “It happened because of strict regulations on the understanding of the incident, the reason for the incident and ensuring that we have the highest standards in this country.”
KUSA-TV in Denver included a video showing the cheers of passengers as the plane landed safely at Denver International Airport.
Clare Armstrong, a Colorado resident, told Fox News that when she was in Broomfield Commons Dog Park, she heard a loud noise and saw debris starting to fall into the area.
She and the others in the dog park were able to hide safely.
Broomfield police said they felt “thank you” that no one was injured, given how many people are usually in the park on weekends.
It is not clear what caused the failure of the aircraft’s No. 2 engine. Video taken from the ground showed a large amount of black smoke emanating from the plane.
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Air Currents editor-in-chief Jon Ostrower explained on Twitter: “Since the cabin is almost completely disintegrated, no matter how much energy the engine has,”.
United Airlines stated that all passengers and crew have been transported back to the terminal in Denver and will provide new flights to Honolulu in the next few hours.