The pilots sent out a distress signal and returned to the airport to safely land the Boeing 777-200. It is noteworthy that there were no injuries either in the air or on the ground. Nevertheless, interviews with passengers show that the incident caused great concern for all involved.
That’s how the people in the sky and down there would have reacted in those tense moments.
There was a big thump.
Travis Lock, a passenger on Flight 328, told CNN he heard a bang about 20 minutes after taking off from Honolulu.
There was a big bang and that sound you don’t want to hear when you’re on a plane, said Lock, who was flying with his wife, during a phone interview. And I immediately lifted my shadow, and I was very surprised to see that the engine on my side was missing.
We were just glad we weren’t swimming across the ocean, because that’s where we were going, he said.
Locke said he felt fear on the plane, but everyone was very calm.
A lot of people couldn’t see the bike from this side, so I was a little more excited because I could see it and I knew it was wrong, he said.
Nate Fisher heard the sound, too. At first, I thought lightning had struck the plane, he told CNN’s KCNC.
When Bob Brown heard the explosion, he looked out the window, saw the engine stall, and grabbed his cell phone to film it.
We looked at each other, my wife and I held hands and we just wanted our children to see them again, he told KCNA.
Mike Vena was in the middle of the plane when he heard the explosion. The plane started shaking and that lasted about half an hour until the plane landed, he told KCNC.
Vienna said she was reassured by the professionalism of the team, but said he was still concerned.
According to him, there was no panic among the crew and no panic among the passengers. I’m worried about my kids because they’re not with us, so they’re not in school, and this is our first vacation alone in 21 years.
At first, people were probably pretty shocked, Dan Smith of Portland, Maine, told KCNC, but I think people have calmed down a lot.
Brenda Dawn, who was outside with the kids, saw smoke through the window and knew something was wrong. My daughter was sitting by the window and I thought: Don’t look, shut up and pray, she told KUSA, a subsidiary of CNN. So that’s what we did. We held hands and prayed.
Danielle Thomas, who lives in Honolulu, praised the crew for their behavior.
I think the pilots did everything they could to make everyone feel safe and comfortable, she told KCNC.
Troy Lewis said he is confident they will make it back safely.
As soon as we rounded the corner and saw the track, I made sure our family, we said we loved each other, he told KUSA. You suddenly remember all the things you would easily forget.
When the plane landed safely, people cheered before disembarking.
Back safely on shore, Lok said he had calmed his nerves and prepared for the rest of the trip.
We’re going to have a cocktail, Locke said. And yes, we’re going to try again. Let’s try it again. This time the odds are in our favor.
He wasn’t the only one who wanted to continue his journey. United said in a statement that most passengers took an alternate flight to Honolulu, while those who did not want to travel that night were accommodated in hotels.
What they did on earth.
As those in the air urged them to land, those on the ground looked up and saw debris falling from the sky.
A large round bonnet fell near the house, but fortunately it missed and caused more damage. Kirby Clements, a homeowner, told KMGH, a subsidiary of CNN, that he thinks his neighbor’s trampoline exploded in his backyard.
But as soon as I open the door, I say it’s the front engine of the plane, Clements said.
Kieran Kane told CNN he was playing with his children at a local elementary school when a plane flew over and they heard a loud bang.
We saw it go by, we heard a big bang, we looked up, there was black smoke in the air, Kane told CNN.
It started raining, which, you know, it looked like it was pouring and not very hard, but in reality, when I look now, there were big pieces of metal, everywhere.
I was surprised that the plane seemed to keep moving forward without changing course or doing anything, he said. It all happened as if nothing had happened.
Cain said he and his children took refuge in a pavilion near the playground and watched the debris fall a few blocks away.
A Broomfield owner told KCNC he was making sandwiches for his daughters when the plane crashed into his roof.
Another man, Mark Moskowitz, told KCNK that he heard a loud bang and looked outside to see a large chunk of debris falling from the sky outside.
Then I went upstairs to get my wife and child, who were sleeping upstairs, and I asked them to come down and make sure they were safe, he said.
Jim Hunter was coaching a football team in Commons Park when he saw debris falling from the sky. The football team ran to safety and no one was hurt. They were everywhere. The air was filled with these pieces running across the field, he told KUSA.
CNN’s Holly Silverman contributed to this report.