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Did a United Airlines flight break apart in midair?

United Airlines said it will ground some planes because of the recent incident

This Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021 photo provided by Hayden Smith shows United Airlines Flight 328 approaching Denver International Airport, after experiencing “a right-engine failure” shortly after takeoff from Denver.
This Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, photo provided by Hayden Smith shows United Airlines Flight 328 approaching Denver International Airport after experiencing “a right-engine failure” shortly after takeoff from Denver.
Hayden Smith via Associated Press

A United Airlines plane broke apart in midair over the weekend, forcing debris to fall in a neighborhood outside of Denver.

  • The plane landed and there were no injuries reported.
  • The flight had 231 passengers and 10 crew members.

What happened

United Airlines flight 328 had to make an emergency landing at Denver International Airport after its right engine blew up after takeoff, CBS News reports.

  • The casing of the engine fell into a suburban neighborhood.

The response

United Airlines said it would ground 24 of its Boeing 777 aircraft after the Federal Aviation Administration said it would mandate inspections because of the malfunction, The Dallas Morning News reports.

  • FAA administrator Steve Dickson said recent data showed there needs to be more maintenance done on the Boeing 777 airplanes, according to The Washington Post.
  • The FAA said United is the only carrier with the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engine, which appears to have some malfunctions, according to The Washington Post.

Will this impact your flight?

United said it will remove flights from its schedule that might have this engine. But United spokesman David Gonzalez said in an emailed statement to The Washington Post that this won’t have a huge impact on flights.

  • “As we swap out aircraft, we expect only a small number of customers to be inconvenienced,” he said.

One more thing

A similar incident occurred in the Netherlands as a Boeing 747-400 cargo plane dropped engine parts on Saturday, according to CBS News. There was some damage in the southern town of Meerssen because of the debris. One woman was injured in that incident, though the flight landed safely.