Debris falls onto neighbourhood from sky as plane’s engine explodes mid-flight

Debris from a plane fell on a neighbourhood in Denver, United States (Picture: Reuters/EPA)



(Metro) - Debris from a plane rained down from the sky and narrowly missed a home after a jet’s engine exploded mid-flight over the United States. Terrifying footage posted on Twitter by a woman who said she was the daughter of people aboard the flight showed the engine fully engulfed in flames as the plane continued to fly through the air. Several people living in the Denver suburbs reported large pieces of metal falling from the explosion, with pictures from the scene showing how close they came to hitting people’s houses. The plane landed safely and nobody aboard or on the ground was reported hurt, authorities said.

The Broomfield Police Department said on Twitter that the plane made an emergency landing at Denver International Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the Boeing 777-200 returned to the airport after experiencing a right-engine failure shortly after takeoff. Flight 328 was flying from Denver to Honolulu when the incident occurred, the agency said. United said in a separate statement that there were 231 passengers and 10 crew on board. The airline released no further details.




The Broomfield Police Department said on Twitter that the plane made an emergency landing at Denver International Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that the Boeing 777-200 returned to the airport after experiencing a right-engine failure shortly after takeoff. Flight 328 was flying from Denver to Honolulu when the incident occurred, the agency said. United said in a separate statement that there were 231 passengers and 10 crew on board. The airline released no further details.

A large chunk of metal narrowly missed a house in the Denver suburbs (Picture: EPA)



People have been urged not to touch the debris (Picture: EPA)



Tyler Thal, who lives in the area, told The Associated Press that 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.




‘The plane just kind of continued on and we didn’t see it after that.’ Tyler was relieved to learn later that the plane had made a safe landing. Broomfield Police urged anyone who finds debris not to touch it as it needs to remain in place as part of the investigation.

Aviation safety experts said the plane appeared to have suffered an uncontained and catastrophic engine failure. Such an event is extremely rare and happens when huge spinning discs inside the engine suffer some sort of failure and breach the armored casing around the engine that is designed to contain the damage, said John Cox, an aviation safety expert and retired airline pilot. ‘That unbalanced disk has a lot of force in it and it’s spinning at several thousand rotations per minute … and when you have that much centrifugal force, it has to go somewhere,’ he said. Pilots practice how to deal with such an event frequently and would have immediately shut off anything flammable in the engine, including fuel and hydraulic fluid using a single switch, Mr Cox said.


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