On Sunday, February 21, United Airlines Flight 328 heading to Honolulu in Hawaii had to make an emergency landing at Denver International Airport after its right engine blew apart just after takeoff. Pieces of the casing of the engine, a Pratt & Whitney PW4000, rained down on suburban neighbourhoods.
The plane with 231 passengers and 10 crew onboard landed safely, and nobody aboard or on the ground was reported hurt, authorities said.
The Federal Aviation Administration FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said in a statement on Sunday that based on an initial review of safety data, inspectors had "concluded that the inspection interval should be stepped up for the hollow fan blades that are unique to this model of engine, used solely on Boeing 777 airplanes".
The National Transportation Safety Board said in a separate statement that two of the engine's fan blades were fractured and the remainder of the fan blades "exhibited damage". The NTSB however cautioned that it was too early to draw conclusions about how exactly the incident had occurred.
Videos posted on Twitter show the engine fully engulfed in flames as the plane flew through the air. Freeze frames from different videos taken by a passenger sitting slightly in front of the engine and posted on Twitter appeared to show a broken fan blade in the engine.
Here's the video:
The video has elicited a variety of reactions from Twitterati.
There have been empathetic tweets for those who were in the flight and the crew, with several people taking to Twitter to share their anguish. While some were passengers, others said that they had friends and family on board.
Many also appear to be fearful about facing similar situations when they travel. Going by some of the posts, many (including those who are scheduled to travel with United Airlines in the near future) have become rather skeptical. "Had a front row seat to the entire engine failure on United flight 328. Kinda traumatized to fly United more," summed up one Twitter user.
Others still have showered praise on the airlines for handling the situation well and making sure that no one got hurt.
Lastly, there have been memes. After all, no matter what happens, Twitter always has memes.
Here are some of the reactions. Check them out.
With inputs from PTI.