A Boeing jet has scattered debris over a residential area near Denver after one of its engines failed on take-off.
The Boeing 777, with 231 passengers and 10 crew on board, was able to return safely and land at Denver airport. No injuries were reported.
Police in the town of Broomfield posted pictures of what appears to be the front of an engine casing in the front garden of a home. Passengers on board described a “large explosion” shortly after take-off.
Flight 328, a United Airlines plane bound for Honolulu, suffered a failure in its right-hand engine, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said.
One passenger who was on the flight told AP news agency that the pilot was giving an announcement when there was a loud explosion.
“The plane started shaking violently, and we lost altitude and we started going down,” David Delucia said.
He added that he and his wife placed their wallets in their pockets so that “in case we did go down, we could be ID’d”.
Images posted online showed smoke trailing from the engine. One video apparently shot from inside the plane shows an engine on fire and stripped of its casing.
The incident happened shortly after 13:00 local time (20:00 GMT) on Saturday.
Broomfield police urged residents not to touch or move the debris. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will be carrying out an investigation.
One Broomfield resident told CNN he had seen the debris fall from the plane and took shelter with his children as it started coming down.
“We saw it go over, we heard the big explosion, we looked up, there was black smoke in the sky,” Kieran Cain said. “Debris started raining down, which you know, sort of looked like it was floating down and not very heavy, but actually now looking at it, it’s giant metal pieces all over the place.”
It is unclear what caused the engine to catch fire. Jet engine failures do not happen often, but they can be caused by a rotating part, such as a turbine blade, breaking off and piercing the outer cowling. The plane, a Boeing 777-200, was manufactured 26 years ago.
On the same day as the Denver incident, an engine failure on a 30-year-old Boeing 747 freighter saw debris fall on a town in the Netherlands. Parts of what appeared to be turbine blades landed on the town of Mersen. Two people on the ground, one a child, were slightly injured.
The aircraft, which had left Maastricht bound for New York, landed safely in Liege in neighbouring Belgium.