Engine cover on Southwest Airlines flight to Houston from Denver tears away during takeoff

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Monday, April 8, 2024
Emergency plane landing: Southwest Airlines flight to Houston returns back to Denver after engine cover tears away during takeoff
A Southwest Airlines flight to Houston had to land in Denver after the plane's engine cover began to tear during takeoff from the Denver airport.

DENVER, Colorado (KTRK) -- A Southwest Airlines flight headed to Houston had to make an emergency landing at Denver International Airport after the engine cover seemingly tore away during takeoff around 7:30 a.m. Sunday, according to officials.

In a video sent to ABC News by a passenger on flight 3695, the engine's cowling could be seen peeling back, flying off and striking the aircraft's wing flap as the plane began to come off the ground.

One passenger described the ordeal as "frightening."

RELATED: United plane from San Francisco to Oregon loses external panel mid-flight, officials say

"People in the exit row across from me started yelling at the flight attendants and showing them the damage. We turned around and made a full-speed landing. The pilots did a great job on the landing," the passenger said.

According to the Federal Aviation Association, the Boeing 737-800 aircraft was towed back to the gate after landing around 8:15 a.m. Sunday.

Many of the passengers on board the flight say they couldn't see what was happening from where they were seated.

"I just heard someone say, Somethings wrong with the plane,'" said Alisa Moses.

"It felt like turbulence, so we didnt really think much about it. People in front, they kind of gasped," said Jesse Watson.

In video provided to Eyewitness News, you can hear the plane's pilot on the loud speaker after the plane returned to Denver.

"Right now everything is okay. We did have some engine damage," he can be heard saying.

"When the captain came out to explain what had happened, the passengers gave him a round of applause. It was really an amazing experience," said Frank Sanger.

Officials said all passengers were checked out and cleared by the local fire department before boarding another plane to Houston's William P. Hobby Airport, which landed around 2 p.m.

"The pictures make it look worse than what it is. The landing here was harder than the landing in Denver really," said Mike Wagner.

SEE ALSO: Private plane loses landing gear while approaching Hobby Airport runway, officials say

The Houston Airport System said a private plane's landing gear collapsed upon arriving at Hobby on Thursday afternoon.

This incident will remain under investigation, officials said.

Tune into later newscasts of Eyewitness News for further updates on this story.