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Plane showers homes in Denver with debris after engine 'explosion'
21 February 2021, 07:02 | Updated: 21 February 2021, 07:58
A United Airlines plane scattered debris across a residential area near Denver before being forced to make an emergency landing.
Authorities say the flight from the US city to Honolulu suffered an engine failure shortly after take-off, but it managed to return safely to the airport.
None of its 241 passengers and crew were hurt. Noone on the ground was hurt either. Some of the debris did pierce the roof of a property but the residents escaped unharmed.
Engine failure on Boeing 777 United aircraft. Plane took off from Denver and returned safely in 20 minutes. Engine parts fell soon after take off. Pilots flew the aircraft back safely. Look at the engine, it's hardly in shape. pic.twitter.com/gByQ9Sj85q— Nagarjun Dwarakanath (@nagarjund) February 21, 2021
Brenda Dohn, who was on board, described the incident in detail: "Everything started well and then all of a sudden, you could just feel it," she said.
Additional debris scattered across turf field at Commons Park. Please avoid the area if possible. pic.twitter.com/tmos5HBVwV— Broomfield Police (@BroomfieldPD) February 20, 2021
"Boom, we started shaking, and we were right on the wing so I looked out and I could see some smoke coming and I just knew, something's wrong, something's not right."
The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the Boeing 777-200 returned to the Denver International Airport after experiencing a right-engine failure shortly after take-off.
The Broomfield Police Department posted photos on Twitter showing large, circular pieces of debris leaning against a house in the suburb about 25 miles north of Denver.
Tyler Thal, who lives in the area, said he was out for a walk with his family when he noticed a large commercial plane flying unusually low and took out his phone to film it.
"While I was looking at it, I saw an explosion and then the cloud of smoke and some debris falling from it. 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," he said in a phone interview.
"The plane just kind of continued on and we didn't see it after that."
Mr Thal was relieved to learn later that the plane had made a safe landing.
Video posted on Twitter by a woman who said she was the daughter of people onboard the flight showed the engine fully engulfed in flames as the plane flew through the air.