Boeing 777s with same engines as plane involved in Denver incident temporarily banned from UK airspace

Credit: AP

Boeing 777s with the same engine as that of the plane which caught fire after taking off from Denver will be temporarily banned from entering UK airspace.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the ban on Monday following an incident where a United Airlines plane suffered a catastrophic failure - showering debris onto a suburb below.

United Airlines has already removed its Boeing 777s with the engine model involved as they step up investigations into Sunday's incident.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority added that the engine was not used on models operated by UK airlines.

A statement said: "It is operated by airlines in the USA, Japan and South Korea where authorities have also stopped its use.”

The United Airlines flight had to make an emergency landing at Denver International Airport after its right engine blew apart just after takeoff.

The plane with 231 passengers and 10 crew on board landed safely, and nobody aboard or on the ground was reported hurt, authorities said.

Pieces of the engine's casing rained down on suburban neighbourhoods.

The debris littered a Denver suburb. Credit: AP

The American National Transportation Safety Board said that two of the engine’s fan blades were fractured and the remainder of the fan blades “exhibited damage.”

The NTSB did caution that it was too early to draw conclusions about how the incident happened.

The Japan Civil Aviation Bureau also suspended operations fofall 777 aircraft powered by the Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines.

It said there were 69 of the engines in service and another 59 in storage.

The Federal Aviation Administration FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said in a statement on Sunday that based on an initial review of safety data, inspectors “concluded that the inspection interval should be stepped up for the hollow fan blades that are unique to this model of engine, used solely on Boeing 777 airplanes.”

Boeing said: “We are working with these regulators as they take actions while these planes are on the ground and further inspections are conducted by Pratt & Whitney,” it said in a statement issued Sunday. Manufacturers of the engine Pratt & Whitney said it was sending a team to work with investigators while coordinating with airlines and regulators.