United Flight 328 returned safely to the airport around 1:30 p.m. after experiencing an engine problem, an airport spokesperson told CNN.
And the tweet stated that “no injuries were reported at this time.”
Additional police tweets said the wreckage fell in Commons Park, Northmore and Red Leaf neighborhood in Broomfield. The city is about 25 miles north of Denver and 30 miles east of Denver International Airport.
The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed in a statement that the Boeing 777-200 had safely returned to Denver International Airport after “experiencing a right engine failure shortly after takeoff.”
“The Federal Aviation Administration is aware of reports of debris near the plane’s flight path,” the statement said.
United Airlines told CNN that there were 241 people, including 10 crew members, on Flight 328.
Pilots are heard making a distress call, telling air traffic controllers “we had an engine failure,” according to air traffic control communications with Flight 328 obtained by CNN.
Rachel Welty, a spokeswoman for the Broomfield Police Department, told a news conference that police had received calls from residents who said they heard an explosion.
“Then they started to see what they thought was a plane falling from the sky. What was a wreck,” Welty said, describing the wreck as “perhaps some of the outer parts of the plane.”
Police are working to contain a large, safe debris field for the National Transportation Safety Board, which will be responsible for the investigation, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
“NTSB opened an investigation on February 20, 2021, the engine occurred on United 777. NTSB investigators are responding in Denver,” NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson told CNN.
Meanwhile, Broomfield Police have warned residents not to touch or move wreckage if they see it in their yard because the NTSB “wants all debris to remain in place for investigation”.
Kiran Kane told CNN that he was playing with his children at a local elementary school when a plane flew overhead and they heard a loud bang.
“We saw it retreating, and we heard the big bang, and we looked up, and there was black smoke in the sky,” Cain told CNN.
He said, “The debris started falling, which you know, it kind of looked like it was floating on the ground and not very heavy, but actually looking at it now, it’s gigantic pieces of metal everywhere,” he said.
He said, “I was surprised that the plane continued to operate without interruption, without changing its course or doing anything.” “It went on like this as if nothing had happened.”
Cain said that he and his children took cover under a layer of accumulation when the wreckage fell.
CNN’s Pete Montaigne contributed to this report.