Joel and Maren Martin were all fired up to get to Hawaii and start their honeymoon. They made it to Denver where they would get on a United flight to their final destination, Hawaii.


On the second leg of their honeymoon trip the engine on the right side of the plane exploded. “It was about 10 minutes or so into the flight,” Joel said. He recalls the pilot being partway through the “we’ve reached 10,000 feet announcement and all of sudden there was a flash and loud bang.”

Maren was startled by it too. “It literally looked like a flashbang went off in the cabin. A bright flash, really loud,” she said.

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The plane then turned around to head back to the Denver airport. It was extremely fortunate that the explosion happened soon after takeoff. Who knows what would have happened had the flight been over the Pacific Ocean halfway to Hawaii.

The Martins said the plane was pretty much shaking all the way back to the Denver airport.  They weren't in window seats so they didn't really see the engine was on fire. They also didn't know the plane was shedding parts that fell to the ground. Fortunately, no one was injured on the ground.

“We had no idea we were losing parts like that,” Maren said.

Passengers were reportedly pretty quite on the way back to the airport.  That silence was finally broken when the damaged plane touched down on the runway and everyone cheered. When asked if they were among the passengers cheering, “Oh, we cheered,” the pair said in unison.

United has since grounded their 28 Boeing 777's while the explosion is investigated.

(KARE 11)

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