GHuge debris from an airplane fell into residential areas not far from the American city of Denver in the state of Colorado after an engine failed. The Boeing 777 landed safely at Denver International Airport on Saturday afternoon (local time) with more than 240 people on board. The re were initially no reports of injuries, either on board or on the ground. “I’m honestly shocked,” said Broomfield police spokeswoman Rachel Welte. It is “astonishing” that, according to initial findings, nobody in the place was injured by debris. According to the Maastricht police, two people were injured in a similar incident in the Netherlands.
According to the Federal Aviation Authority FAA, the right engine of the United Airlines machine failed shortly after take-off. The 231 passengers and ten crew members were on their way to the capital of Hawaii, Honolulu. What led to the engine failure was initially unclear.
The incident is being investigated, the FAA said. United Airlines announced in the evening that the majority of passengers are on another flight to Hawaii.
A large piece of debris fell in the front yard of a house, other parts of the aircraft landed on a sports field. Police spokeswoman Welte reported that the people were particularly startled by the noise. “A lot of people said they heard this really loud explosion that scared a lot of people, and then they saw what they thought was an airplane falling from the sky, but it was debris.”
“Practically a shower of parts”
Kirby Klements told the Denver Post that he was sitting with his wife in the living room reading the newspaper when there was a loud bang. At first he thought that it was part of a trampoline. When he went out, he immediately recognized that part of the engine of an airplane had landed in his front yard. “It rained a lot of debris from the sky,” said Klements.
It sounded like the sound barrier had been breached, eyewitness Kieran Cain told CNN. Everyone looked up. A “gigantic” cloud of black smoke could be seen in the sky and immediately afterwards the falling parts of the aircraft. “Virtually a shower of pieces falling from the sky,” said Cain.
The news channel CNN played a recording of the dramatic moment in which the pilot of the plane released the distress signal “Mayday”.
Similar reports from the Netherlands
The re were similar reports from the Netherlands on the same day. According to the police in Maastricht, two people were injured there by falling parts of the plane. An elderly woman was hit in the head and had to be hospitalized. A child was also reportedly slightly injured and burned when trying to pick up debris from the floor.
The re was no evidence that the events in the Netherlands and the United States were related.