A United Airlines Boeing 777 suffered an uncontained engine failure over Broomfield, Colorado, on Saturday afternoon, spreading debris over a mile on the ground. There were no injuries on the aircraft or on the ground. There were 229 passengers and 10 crew onboard. Meanwhile, what appeared to be turbine blades fell from a Boeing 747-400 cargo plane over a Dutch village on Saturday, injuring two people on the ground, although not seriously. Images from that village show about a dozen broken blades collected in the community and one piece piercing the roof of a car.
In the Colorado incident, the 777 had just taken off for Hawaii from Denver International Airport about 1 p.m. local time when the engine came apart. The aircraft was at about 14,000 feet. The crew declared a mayday (audio here) and returned to the airport for a safe landing. Debris also went through the roofs of buildings. Video shot from the cabin shows the nacelle and most of the rear fairings missing from the engine as it wobbles while windmilling on the return trip to the airport. First reports from the scene showed parts in yards and in a park that had reportedly been full of locals enjoying a warm early spring day. In a rare move during the pandemic, the NTSB is sending investigators to the scene. More details as they become available.
The Dutch mishap involved a Longtail Aviation 747 that took off from Maastricht Airport in the Netherlands for New York. Initial speculation is that the engine ingested an “object” taking out the turbine blades. The aircraft stayed in the air for more than 90 minutes before diverting to Liege in Belgium. Longtail Aviation is based in Bermuda and has two 747-400s.