BROOMFIELD, Colo. (CBS4) – Broomfield police responded to the area near 136th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard on Saturday for reports of pieces from an aircraft falling from the sky. First responders said they weren’t aware of injuries.
Police said debris fell in several neighborhoods at around 1 p.m. They added the plane had engine trouble, but did not land in Broomfield.
This photo was taken near 13th and Elmwood. Media stage in Commons Park on North side near dog park. PIO eta is 30 mins. pic.twitter.com/vfXlToB5mE
— Broomfield Police (@BroomfieldPD) February 20, 2021
Debris has been found at Commons Park and the Northmoor and Red Leaf neighborhoods. One picture shows a large, circular piece of metal resting right in front of a home.
Police say the plane landed safely at Denver International Airport.
United Airlines flight 328 headed to Honolulu from DIA had to turn around due to an engine issue. United Airlines said there were 231 passengers onboard and 10 crew members. All had to be re-booked on a new flight to Hawaii.
Alex Renteria, DIA spokesperson said there were no reports of injuries on the plane.
Broomfield police spokeswoman Rachel Welte said, “A lot of people said they heard that really loud explosion which startled a lot of people, and then they just started seeing basically they thought was was a plane falling from the sky.”
Welte says there were reports of some homes damaged, but the extent of that damage is unknown. Debris fell through one home’s roof but no one inside was injured.
A viewer, only identified as Cindy, shared a picture of the plane looking from the ground showing what appears to be one of the engines on fire.
Another viewer, Zach Allen, shared dashcam video from their Tesla as they drove north on Federal Boulevard. About 15 seconds into the video, the video shows an explosion in the sky coming from the plane.
Welte says it’s unclear how long the investigation into the plane issue will take, but the large area of evidence and debris is unprecedented.
“I’m honestly shocked looking at this debris field and how busy Commons Park is. This is a very popular spot in Broomfield. We have the dog park. We have the turf field. There are playgrounds,” she said. “This park on a day like today, when it’s not as cold as last weekend, we could have hundreds of people here.”
The NTSB took over the investigation.
Pilots in the cockpit can be heard alerting air traffic control of the mayday. Below is a clip of that transmission which can be heard at the 8:53 mark. Note: May not be suitable for all viewers.
The FAA released this statement:
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 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. Please contact local officials and the airline for further information about the passengers. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide additional updates. United Flight 328 was flying from Denver to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu when the incident occurred.
Police sent out a Code Red alert to about 1,400 recipients asking if they do have debris to leave it where it is. They say to please call dispatch at 303.438.6405 to report as soon as possible.
For those who sustained damage from this incident, they are asked to fill out this form on United Airlines website.
Claimants are asked to:
- Select “Concern”
- Select “Personal Injury”
- Enter flight details (United #328)
- Include incident details
- Include additional documentation/pictures/descriptions