DENVER (KDVR) — It’s now been a few days since passengers on United flight 328 experienced an engine explosion only about 10 minutes after takeoff from Denver International Airport.
The Boeing 777-200, headed from Denver to Honolulu on Saturday with 231 passengers and 10 crew aboard, suffered a catastrophic failure in its right engine and flames erupted under the wing as the plane began to lose altitude.
Misha Smith, her son Xavier Steele and her mother Kamala Trotter were on that flight. Smith said they knew the moment they heard the explosion, they knew something was wrong.
“I mean right after that explosion the plane started shaking. I remember looking up at the ceiling thinking ‘are we going to fall apart?’ You can hear the panels going against each other,” Smith said.
Other passengers on the flight explained details to FOX31 and Channel 2 as to how the flight was handled after the engine exploded.
“Were holding hands and saying prayers and looking at each other it was really silent there wasn’t a lot of anyone talking at all,” Kelly Glidden, who was on the flight with her husband Sonny said.
Glidden stated that they could hear and feel when the engine exploded.
“I could see the flash but also feel the heat from it so immediately we knew something bad had happened,” Glidden said.
She said immediately she started thinking about the important people in her life she last spoke with because she wasn’t sure what was going to happen or if the plane was going to be able to land.
Trotter also stated she tried to text her husband, other daughter and her mom during the flight.
“I think I felt that there was an 80% chance that I was going to die,” Trotter said.
But all the passengers our news crews talked to stated the pilots deserve all the praise.
“Our pilots were amazing. We would not be here if our pilots didn’t do exactly what they did,” Smith said.
Joel and Maren Martin were also on the flight on their way to their honeymoon, told FOX31 and Channel 2 that the pilots and cabin crew were the reason that all the passengers stayed calm.
“The pilots did a great job in keeping the plane steady and after the fact learning we only had one working engine and we were losing parts. I’m amazed,” Maren said.
Smith said the majority of the people on the original flight that turned around, did get on the next plane just a few hours later to head to Hawaii.