A United Airlines flight bound for Hawaii was forced into a emergency landing after debris from the aircraft plunged towards homes in Denver.
Debris from Flight 328 between the capital of Colorado and Honolulu was spotted strewn across a residential area in Broomfield, including the engine rim and what appeared to be parts of the engine casing.
The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) said that the Boeing 777-200 returned to Denver International Airport and landed safely after experiencing a “right-engine failure” after take-off.
In a separate statement, United said that 231 passengers were on board at the time, with 10 crew, but released no further details.
The local police department in Broomfield, which is around 25 miles (40km) from Denver, posted several photos on social media of what is believed to be debris from the plane, with the large rim of the plane’s engine appearing to narrowly miss a house in the town.
Officers are asking anyone who has been injured by falling debris to come forward, with the force issuing a “code red” to nearly 1,400 residents asking them to check their yards for parts of the plane.
The National Transportation Safety Board has been tasked with the investigation into what happened, and has asked that all debris remains in the place it was found.
More from Boeing
Boeing will pay $2.5bn to resolve US investigation into 737 MAX disasters
Boeing 737 MAX aircraft resume passenger flights in the US
Boeing 737-8 MAX: Air Canada flight makes unscheduled landing after pilots forced to shut down one engine
Regulator signals plan for grounded 737 MAX to return to Europe’s skies
Boeing 737 MAX cleared to fly again after fatal crashes
Boeing 737 MAX to be flying in US ‘in next month or so’, says Ryanair executive
A number of videos have been shared online, including one from someone whose parents were purportedly on the flight, showing the engine engulfed in flames and missing its casing.
Flight 328 @united engine caught fire. my parents are on this flight 🙃🙃 everyone’s okay though! pic.twitter.com/cBt82nIkqb
— michaela🦋 (@michaelagiulia) February 20, 2021
Footage was also taken by Twitter user Tyler Thal of the plane flying low over Broomfield with pieces of the aircraft falling from it.
He told the Associated Press: “While I was looking at it, I saw an explosion and then the cloud of smoke and some debris falling from it.”
I saw an explosion on this low flying aircraft over @broomfield about 45 minutes ago. Debris fell from the plane and left a black cloud of smoke. The plane continued on. Any new on if this plane landed safely? @BroomfieldPD@NMFirePIO@9NEWS@KyleClarkpic.twitter.com/paMCdiuWMN
— Tyler Thal (@tgthal) February 20, 2021
“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 added.
“The plane just kind of continued on and we didn’t see it after that.”
Boeing, the plane’s manufacturer, declined to comment, instead referring Sky News to United Airlines.