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Passengers celebrate as United Airlines flight lands after engine failure

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Terrified passengers can be heard cheering and clapping with relief when their United Airlines jet landed safely in Colorado after suffering a fiery mid-air engine failure.

Video shared with 9 News Denver had caught the eerie silence on Flt. 328 as it approached its emergency landing Saturday afternoon after urgent mayday calls when one of its engines caught fire and rained debris over Denver.

The passengers’ silence was then replaced with whooping, clapping and a loud “yeah!” as the wheels on the Boeing 777-200 touched down at Denver International Airport.

Another video shared with 9 News had captured some of the earlier terror suffered by the plane’s 231 passengers — some of whom later admitted in interviews that they assumed they would not make it out alive.

As waiting crews sprayed water over the jet, footage from inside its fuselage captured a woman moaning, while a female voice begged just “to go home, please!” 

The same unidentified passenger said she never wanted “go on a plane anymore” after the terrifying near-miss.

No injuries were reported on board the Honolulu-bound jet, despite the dramatic videos showing one of the engines on fire and rattling loose.

There were also no reports of injuries in suburban Broomfield, where huge chunks of engine and debris landed in yards, parks and on vehicles.

United Airlines said it offered hotel accommodation to anyone too traumatized to fly home but revealed that “the majority” of passengers instead took a new flight to Honolulu.

United Airlines flight UA328, carrying 231 passengers and 10 crew on board, returns to Denver International Airport with its starboard engine on fire after it called a Mayday alert
United Airlines flight UA328, carrying 231 passengers and 10 crew on board, returns to Denver International Airport with its starboard engine on fire after it called a Mayday alert.

The 26-year-old jet was powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines.

Investigators will focus on what caused the accident, including whether a fan blade failed, authorities and experts said.

Boeing said its technical advisers would assist the NTSB with its probe, while United pledged to “work with federal agencies investigating this incident.”

Engine failures are rare — but potentially dangerous whenever rotating parts pierce the outer casing, an event known as an uncontained engine failure, which experts said is what appeared to have happened Saturday.

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, said John Cox, a retired pilot who runs an aviation safety consulting firm, Safety Operating Systems.

With Post Wires

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