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After engine failure, United ordered to review its Boeing 777s

Federal aviation regulators on Sunday ordered United Airlines to increase inspections of all its Boeing 777s equipped with the type of engine that suffered a catastrophic failure in Denver. The airline indicated that it will keep them on the ground temporarily.

The day before, United Airlines Flight 328 had to make an emergency landing at Denver International Airport after its right engine blew apart just after takeoff. Chunks of the motor housing, a Pratt & Whitney PW4000, fell on suburban neighborhoods.

The plane with 231 passengers and 10 crew members on board landed safely and no one was injured, as well as on the ground, authorities said.

Steve Dickson, administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), said in a statement Sunday that, based on an initial review of safety data, inspectors “concluded that the interval between inspections should intensify for the hollow blades exclusive to this engine model, used only on Boeing 777 aircraft ”.

The National Transportation Safety Board said in a separate statement that two of the engine blades were broken and the rest “showed damage.” The NTSB warned that it was too early to draw any conclusions about how the incident occurred.

In a video posted on Twitter, the engine was on fire as the plane flew. Images from another video taken by a passenger who was sitting almost in front of the engine, published on the same social network, apparently showed a broken blade.

United is the only US airline to have the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 in its fleet, the FAA noted. The airline indicated that it currently operates 24 777 aircraft.

The company said it will work in conjunction with the FAA and the NTSB to “determine any additional measures that are necessary to ensure that these aircraft meet our rigorous safety standards and are able to operate again.”