Metal from plane falls from sky in Colorado; aircraft lands safely in Denver

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — Large pieces of metal fell from the sky in a suburban Denver city Saturday afternoon after a United Airlines plane reported engine trouble.

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The Broomfield Police Department said it received reports of a plane with “engine trouble” at around 1:08 p.m. MT. In a tweet, police said the plane landed safely at Denver International Airport. There were 241 people on board the Boeing 777, including 10 crew members, officials said.

Broomfield is located about 25 miles north of Denver and 30 miles east of the airport. Debris was scattered about an area that covered a mile in the city’s Northmoor and Red Leaf neighborhoods, Broomfield Police Department spokesperson Rachel Wechte told CNN. Wechte added that some homes were damaged by the falling debris.

CNN reported that the plane was a United Airlines flight that was headed from Denver to Honolulu. Pieces from the right part of the plane fell from the sky and scattered in the Denver suburb.

United Airlines confirmed that Flight 328 departed Denver International Airport for Honolulu at 12:15 p.m. MT, KDVR reported. Airport spokesperson Alex Renteria confirmed the flight returned to the airport after it “reported an engine issue.”

“Remarkably, there have been no injuries reported yet,” Wechte said earlier at a news conference. “I’m honestly shocked. ... It’s amazing.”

The plane landed safely at 1:30 p.m. MT, Renteria said. The pilot called air traffic controllers and reported a “heavy mayday.”

“We saw a giant black cloud of smoke in the sky,” Broomfield resident Kieran Cain, who was at Commons Park with his children, told CNN via phone.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed in a statement that a Boeing 777-200 safely returned to Denver International Airport after “experiencing a right-engine failure shortly after takeoff.”

“A Boeing 777-200 operated by United Airlines returned to Denver International Airport and landed safety Saturday after experiencing a right-engine failure shortly after takeoff,” the FAA said in a statement. “The FAA is aware of reports of debris in the vicinity of the airplane’s flight path. The passengers deplaned on Runway 26-Right and were bused to the terminal.”

Denver firefighters based at the airport responded to an “emergency landing” at about 1:35 p.m. MT, said Capt. Greg Pixley, a fire department spokesperson.

Broomfield police tweeted images showing what appeared to be a part of the plane’s engine landing in the front yard of a home in Broomfield, KMGH reported. There are reports of property damage, according to fire officials, but the extent of the damage is unknown.