United flight makes emergency landing at Newark after wing flames

Daniel Fowler
January 17, 2020

A United Airlines flight bound for Los Angeles returned to Newark Liberty International Airport after takeoff because of what the airline described as a "mechanical issue" - but passengers said was an engine on fire.

United 1871 from Newark, New Jersey to Los Angeles returned to Newark due to a mechanical problem. "The closest sound I can think of is [gunshots] when each spark ignited", she explained.

"The plane I was on had an engine malfunction minutes after take off", Gabrielle Guzzy tweeted. "The flight landed safely and passengers deplaned normally", United spokesperson Kimberly Gibbs said afterwards.

The plane was met by fire trucks upon landing in Newark.

No injuries were reported.

Passenger Nicole Adamo tweeted that it was "the most terrifying experience of my life" watching the wing and engine. We are working on the change of aircraft to bring our customers to their destination as quickly as possible.

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"They're making announcements but i can't hear anything b/c people are screaming".

The passenger told PIX11 that even before getting off the ground the flight was delayed out of Newark due to "some sort of issue". She later posted that she'd made it safely to Los Angeles.

The flight ended up landing at the airport it originally departed from: Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey.

Newark Airport nor the Federal Aviation Administration have released statements about the incident.

"There are special fuel-dumping procedures for aircraft operating into and out of any major USA airport", the FAA said. Fire department officials were forced to respond.

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