Video shows sparks flying from United Airlines flight forced to emergency land in Newark

Sparks flew and debris reportedly fell to the ground from a United Airlines flight that had to make an emergency landing at the Newark, New Jersey, airport early on Thursday morning.

"After our aircraft experienced a mechanical issue shortly after takeoff, it remained in the air to burn fuel and then landed safely," United said in a statement given to CNN. "Passengers deplaned at the gate and a new aircraft is scheduled to depart this morning."

A video taken by a bystander, allegedly featuring the plane taking off, showed a terrifying shower of sparks trailing the plane over its left wing as it took off.

In the background, an observer can be heard yelling, “Oh my God!” as glowing debris appears to fall to the tarmac.

The Independent has reached out to United Airlines for updates and comment on the accuracy of the video.

Another unconfirmed image on social media purported to show debris that had fallen from the plane.

The airline told CNN an initial maintenance inspection suggested a problem with the Boeing 777-200 aircraft’s hydraulic pump.

None of the 256 passengers on the flight, which was bound for Sao Paulo, were injured.

Before the plane touched back down, pilots guided it in circles above the Atlantic ocean for more than an hour to burn off excess fuel.

The same aircraft experienced another mechanical issue on 9 September taking off from Amsterdam, according to flight analysts JACDEC.