Engine Failure On United Flight Sends Plane Parts Falling Near Denver

Twisted metal falling from the sky seems like a scene out of an action movie, but it was real life in a neighborhood outside Denver Saturday afternoon. CBS News' Danya Bacchus reports.

Video Transcript

Twisted metal falling from the sky seems like a scene out of an action movie, but it was real life in a neighborhood outside of Denver this afternoon. Plane parts fell on the front yards when a United flight had engine failure moments after takeoff. News CBS2's Danya Bacchus.

- Mayday, mayday.

DANYA BACCHUS: United Flight 328 turned back safely to Denver after suffering an engine failure and dropping debris on the ground below shortly after takeoff.

- Departure United 328 heavy mayday. Aircraft just experienced engine failure. Need to turn immediately.

DANYA BACCHUS: The pilot can be heard on air traffic recordings issuing a mayday and saying aircraft is heavy. This video posted on social media apparently shows the engine on fire. The Boeing 777 en route to Honolulu returned to Denver International Airport, where it was met by emergency crews as a precaution. The incident sparked initial alarm as parts of the aircraft rained down on Broomfield, Colorado, just over 20 miles from the airport.

- Soon as I got a clear look at it, I could tell it was the front end of an engine, a jet engine, and my first thought was that the whole plane was coming down, 'cause, you know, you just don't think that that piece, that big of a honking engine is going to come off.

DANYA BACCHUS: Parts landed in yards, on a ball field, in the street in a few neighborhoods, and apparently through the roof of a home.

RACHEL WELTE: The debris was so far and wide. If you find debris in your home, near your home, in your neighborhood, please don't touch it. Please don't move it. Just leave it there. Call dispatch.

DANYA BACCHUS: The jet plane was carrying 231 passengers and 10 crew members. No injuries were reported on board or on the ground. The National Transportation Safety Board has opened an investigation. Danya Bacchus CBS News.

- And the US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called the incident very concerning at a time he wants to maximize safety for an industry financially crippled by the pandemic.