United Flight 328 suffered a little bit of a problem just after it took off from Denver International Airport yesterday: the right-side engine failed, leaving nothing but a glowing core on the plane while pieces of debris rained down on yards, soccer fields, and homes in the Denver area.
The photos and videos of this situation are, frankly, horrifying. The Broomfield Police Twitter account has a full thread of updates and photos. It almost looks like pieces of a space ship fell from the sky.
The plane was en route to Honolulu. Thankfully, the engine failure happened just after takeoff, which meant the plane was able to return to the Denver airport, where it landed safely. Travis Loock, a passenger on the plane, told CNN that it was only about 20 minutes into the flight, just at the plane reached 10,000 feet. Right now, no one has been reported injured, but some folks are left dealing with holes in their roof after the debris fell through.
Loock went on to describe his experience to CNN:
There was a big boom and the kind of sound you don’t want to hear when you’re on the airplane. And I instantly put my shade up, and I was pretty frightened to see that the, the engine on my side was missing.
We were just glad we weren’t over the ocean, because that’s where we were heading/
A lot of people couldn’t see the engine on that side, right, so I was a little more freaked out because I could see it, and I knew that was not right.
The exact reason for the explosion isn’t clear at the moment, but analysts are saying it was the kind of thing you’d expect to happen during takeoff, when the engines are creating tons of power. It’s already rare for something like this to happen, but it’s especially rare for it to happen when the plane is already well into the air.
United told CNN that many of the passengers chose to be rebooked on a different United flight to Hawaii. Anyone that decided not to continue flying with United was given accommodation for the night.