Plane debris rains down on Denver suburb as passenger jet experiences engine issues

  • Video report by ITV News Reporter Sangita Lal

Huge pieces of plane debris have rained down on a Denver suburb after a passenger jet experienced engine difficulties en route to Honolulu, narrowly missing one home.

No injuries have been reported and the plane landed safely at Denver International Airport in Colorado, following the incident shortly after 2pm local time (8pm GMT).

Pictures on social media showed huge pieces of metal scattered throughout the Commons Park, Northmoor and Red Leaf neighbourhoods.

Pieces of the plane's engine casing and chunks of fiberglass rained down on a sports fields and on streets and lawns, just missing one home and crushing a truck.

The debris littered a Denver suburb. Credit: AP

The explosion, visible from the ground, left a trail of black smoke in the sky, and tiny pieces of insulation filled the air like ash.The Boeing 777-200 was heading from Denver to Honolulu on Saturday with 231 passengers and 10 crew aboard when it suffered a a catastrophic failure in its right engine and flames erupted under the wing as the plane began to lose altitude.

David Delucia was onboard the plane when a huge explosion and flash of light interrupted an in-flight announcement and put him in survival mode.“When it initially happened, I thought we were done. I thought we were going down,” he said, he stuffed his wallet in his pocket so he could be easily identified if the plane did go down. “The pilot did an amazing job. It was pretty unnerving.”

The Broomfield Police Department posted photos on Twitter showing large, circular pieces of debris leaning against a house in the suburb about 25 miles north of Denver.

Tyler Thal, who lives in the area, said 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 in a phone interview.

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

United Airlines plane with smoke trailing from its right side is seen heading east towards Denver International Airport. Credit: AP

Mr Thal was relieved to learn later that the plane had made a safe landing.

Video posted on Twitter by a woman who said she was the daughter of people onboard the flight showed the engine fully engulfed in flames as the plane flew through the air.

Police told people to not touch any of the debris and to contact them 303.438.6405 to report any items.