Live Updates: United plane’s engine explodes after takeoff from DIA; debris falls from sky

National News

BROOMFIELD, Colo. (KDVR) — Large chunks of metal rained down on northwest Denver metro neighborhoods Saturday afternoon after a United Airlines plane reported engine trouble.

United Airlines confirmed flight 328 departed Denver International Airport for Honolulu at 12:15 p.m. Its crew reported an engine issue and turned back to the airport. It landed safely about 1:30 p.m.

Below are live updates on the incident:

Feb. 22, 6:29 p.m.: Here are the latest photos released by the NTSB of the damage to the engine and plane as it sits in the hangar during the investigation.

Feb. 22, 4:10 p.m.: A piece of plane has been found in Arvada and turned over to the NTSB.

Feb. 21, 10:32 p.m.: FOX31’s Shaul Turner spoke to a local aviation expert about the NTSB’s findings:

Feb. 21, 6:25 p.m.: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released the initial investigation of the United Airlines Boeing 777 engine failure. The statement said:

  • The inlet and cowling separated from the engine
  • Two fan blades were fractured
    • One fan blade was fractured near the root
    • An adjacent fan blade was fractured about mid-span
    • A portion of one blade was imbedded in the containment ring
    • The remainder of the fan blades exhibited damage to the tips and leading edges

Read full statement of what investigators determined and what departments were involved.

Feb. 21, 4:47 p.m.: United Airlines announced the temporary removal of 24 active Boeing 777 with Pratt & Whitney 4000 series engines. The company has 52 of these planes total in its fleet. Full statement below:

Starting immediately and out of an abundance of caution, we are voluntarily and temporarily removing 24 Boeing 777 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000 series engines from our schedule. Since yesterday, we’ve been in touch with regulators at the NTSB and FAA and will continue to work closely with them to determine any additional steps that are needed to ensure these aircraft meet our rigorous safety standards and can return to service. As we swap out aircraft, we expect only a small number of customers to be inconvenienced.

Safety remains our highest priority – for our employees and our customers. That’s why our pilots and flight attendants take part in extensive training to prepare and manage incidents like United flight 328. And we remain proud of their professionalism and steadfast dedication to safety in our day to day operations and when emergencies like this occur.

Feb. 21, 2:35 p.m.: Broomfield Police Department has released the 911 calls about falling debris.

Feb. 21, 1:45 p.m.: Broomfield police are reminding folks who find engine debris to not call the NTSB or Denver International Airport directly. If you find debris, call 303-438-6400.

Feb. 21, 10:10 a.m.: Snow-covered debris from UA328 were found at Commons Park in Broomfield Sunday morning:

10:52 p.m.: A viewer submitted this video of debris raining down in Broomfield:

10:18 p.m.: Video submitted by Claire Armstrong shows debris falling to the ground in the dog park in Broomfield.

9:48 p.m.: Nest video from Mark Moskovics captures video and sound of debris falling on street in Broomfield.

8:44 p.m.: Video from Chad Schnell via Storyful shows the engine on fire of United Flight 328:

8:18 p.m.: Watch crews continue to collect engine debris in the snow fall around Broomfield. Some pieces do not look very light in weight.

7:46 p.m.: United Airlines released another statement regarding United Flight 328:

“Following an emergency landing by United flight 328, we ensured our customers were comfortable and cared for at Denver International Airport while we prepared another aircraft to get them to Honolulu. The majority of customers originally on UA328 are currently on their way to Honolulu on a new flight, UA3025, which is scheduled to land at 10:40p.m. local time. Those who did not wish to travel with us this evening were provided hotel accommodations. We will continue to work with federal agencies investigating this incident.”  

Additional footage from NTSB debris collecting around Broomfield:

6:48 p.m.: Watch the NTSB picking up debris and putting into a truck to take back to headquarters for investigation.

5:53 p.m.: Check out the graphic of the flight path for United Flight 328:

A map shows the flight path of United 328, which was forced to return to Denver International Airport when it experienced catastrophic engine failure shortly after takeoff on Feb. 20, 2021. (Credit: FlightAware)

5:23 p.m.: FOX31’s Courtney Fromm spoke to a couple on the flight that made the emergency landing.

5:02 p.m.: Latest photos of engine from United Flight 328 on the ground.

4:35 p.m.: Some passengers have remained at DIA and plan to board another flight to Hawaii:

4:28 p.m.: According to United Airlines, 231 passengers and 10 crew members were aboard the plane, a Boeing 777. The airline says no injuries were reported.

4:23 p.m.: Images circulating online show the plane’s right engine on fire following the failure:

ORIGINAL STORY:

Debris landed in several neighborhoods, including near Sheridan Boulevard and West 136th Avenue, according to North Metro Fire Rescue.

BPD said no injuries have been reported.

While NTSB and authorities investigate the debris on the ground,

Video from Bennett — not far from Denver International Airport — shows a large, commercial airliner with smoke streaming from one of its engines.

Anyone who had debris land in their yard or near their home is asked to contact police at: 303-438-6405.

The National Transportation Safety Board is taking over the investigation.

United issued the following statement about the incident:

Flight 328 from Denver to Honolulu experienced an engine failure shortly after departure, returned safely to Denver and was met by emergency crews as a precaution. There are no reported injuries onboard, and we will share more information as it becomes available. 

This is a breaking news story. It will be updated.

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