LAuthorities said the incident did not cause any injuries on the ground or on the plane.
Passengers on a United Airlines flight UA328 to Honolulu, Hawaii, feared for their lives shortly after takeoff from Denver Airport in Colo. The right engine suddenly caught fire.
The plane returned safely to Denver and no one was injured, the company said, with passengers being taken care of by emergency crews.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on its page on Twitter that the Boeing 777-220 “made a U-turn to Denver International Airport and crashed shortly after takeoff, with its proper engine malfunctioning”.
With 231 passengers and 10 crew on board, pictures taken inside the plane posted on social media show the plane’s right engine on fire.
“I can honestly say I thought I was going to die because after the explosion we started to lose height,” passenger David Telusia told The Denver Post. “I held my wife’s hand and told her we were done,” he said.
“Most of the customers on board the UA328 are currently on their way to Honolulu on another flight,” United Airlines said in a statement, adding that passengers who did not want to travel were staying at the hotel immediately after the incident.
In a post from the Live C website that broadcasts air traffic communications, the pilot hears a distressing call, asking for emergency permission to return to Denver.
“We had a furnace failure, we have to go back. Stage, stage,” he said in a panicked voice.
As the incident returned to Denver, more or less large debris fell into the path taken by the plane.
In the middle of a garden in Broomfield, a suburb of Denver (Colorado), part of the plane is trapped in the shape of a circle with a diameter equal to the front door.
Kirby Clements, the owner of the garden where this bad debris landed from a United Airlines flight, told CNN it was a “slightly bigger” experience.
“It landed directly before it fell directly on the roof of my truck,” he said, adding that another equally large piece of debris had made a hole in the roof more than 1.5 meters in diameter.
The FAA said it was “aware of the debris falling on the runway”.
“If you see any debris, do not touch it and do not move it. TNTSB (National Traffic Safety Board) wants all garbage to be on site for investigation, ”Broomfield Police tweeted.
He also posted photos of debris on a playground in a park, part of the plane with the inscription in red: “Stay away from dangerous areas while the engine is running.”
Heather Solar, who coached her daughters’ football team, said she heard an explosion and was followed by a barrage of debris.
“Honestly … I thought we were bombed,” he told the Denver Post. “There was so much debris in the sky. “