DENVER (CBS4) — Passengers who were aboard United Airlines Flight 328 described the terrifying moments after an engine blew up.

(credit: CBS)

“All of a sudden there was a loud sound. I thought lightning struck the plane
at first,” said Nate Swisher of Elizabeth.

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Dan Smith of Portland, Maine, told CBS4, “Initially I think it was fairly panicked, but I think people did a good job of calming down.”

Denver resident Bob Brown was with his wife and took video as he looked out the
window at the right engine. Their feeling could not be described as confidence.

“We looked at each other, my wife and I, and wished our kids we would see them again,” he said.

He took more pictures as the fire went out and later started back up again.

Passengers described seeing debris falling from the plane to the ground below, as
the crew steadied the aircraft.

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Danielle Thomas, who lives in Honolulu, credited the crew.

“I think the pilots had a huge hand in making everybody feel safe and comfortable,” Thomas said.

Finally, with prayers and tears from passengers, United Flight 328 reached its unplanned destination — landing back in Denver.

“Pure relief, it was amazing,” Dan Smith said.

Emergency crews covered the engine in foam.

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Hours later passengers braced themselves as they prepared to board, once again, for their trip to paradise.

Rick Sallinger