Watch: Jumbo Jet Loses Engine in Mid-Air Explosion with 241 Aboard, Parts Rain on Neighborhood Below


Hot metal rained down from the sky Saturday after one engine on a United Airlines Boeing 777 exploded shortly after the plane’s takeoff from Denver.

The flight from Denver International Airport to Honolulu safely landed in Denver, but debris from the engine fell on several communities to the north of the city.

The plane had 10 crew members and 231 passengers, according to Fox News.

“The plane started shaking violently, and we lost altitude and we started going down,” said passenger David Delucia, according to The Associated Press. “When it initially happened, I thought we were done. I thought we were going down.”

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Preparing for the worst, he said he and his wife took their wallets with their driver’s licenses and put them in their pockets so that “in case we did go down, we could be ID’d.”

However, the pilot landed the plane safely, to the cheering of those aboard.

From the ground, the spectacle appeared to be a disaster in the making.

Tyler Thal witnessed the near-disaster from the ground, according to the AP.

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“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 told the AP. “The plane just kind of continued on, and we didn’t see it after that.”

Kirby Klements said he felt lucky even though a piece of debris crushed his truck, according to the AP.

“If it had been 10 feet different, it would have landed right on top of the house,” he said. “And if anyone had been in the truck, they would have been dead.”

Pieces of insulation fell “like ash” for about 10 minutes, he said.

Much of the debris landed in Broomfield, which is about 20 miles north of downtown Denver, according to KUSA-TV.

No injuries were reported on board the aircraft or on the ground.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigation, the AP reported.

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