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Boeing recommends grounding some 777 planes after catastrophic engine failure

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Boeing recommended grounding all aircraft with the same engine as one that blew apart over Denver. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident. Errol Barnett reports.

Video Transcript

NORAH O'DONNELL: And we're going to reflect more on the half million lives lost later in the broadcast. Well, we turn now to some of the other big headlines. Boeing is telling airlines around the world to ground all 777 passenger jets with the type of engine that blew apart over Denver on Saturday. Amazingly, no one was hurt, on the plane or on the ground, even as a neighborhood was showered with debris. We get more now from CBS's Errol Barnett.

ERROL BARNETT: Tonight there are critical questions after this catastrophic engine failure led to panic and prayers aboard United flight 328.

- And all of a sudden, we heard this huge sound.

ERROL BARNETT: Debris scattered across this Denver suburb.

- It's just dropping pieces

ERROL BARNETT: The NTSB says it is investigating two fractured fan blades, which you can see here in this passenger video. These new photos obtained by our Denver affiliate revealed damage to the fuselage.

JOHN GOGLIA: I think they were fortunate that the way this came apart, it didn't do critical damage to the airplane.

ERROL BARNETT: Former NTSB board member John Goglia says also concerning is the uncontrolled fire.

JOHN GOGLIA: The last thing you want on an airplane is fire.

ERROL BARNETT: Boeing is now recommending to ground all of its 128 aircraft with this engine. United is grounding the 24 it had in service, as is Japan Airlines, ANA, and Korean Air. United 328 is the third engine failure in as many years. In December of last year, a Japan Airlines plane had to turn around due to two damaged fan blades. And in 2018, a United plane landed safely after part of its engine fell away.

Now, the NTSB investigation will likely next focus on the engine's manufacturer, Pratt and Whitney, and its engine certification process. But the conclusion many have already reached is that when trouble hit, it was the well-trained pilots on United 328, Nora, who saved lives.

NORAH O'DONNELL: Thank goodness for those pilots. Errol Barnett, thank you so much.