United Airlines' plane engine fails in fiery explosion, littering debris over Colorado

A United Airlines flight has landed safely after its engine exploded shortly after take-off. 

United Flight 328 was travelling from Denver, Colorado to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, Hawaii when its engine erupted into flames, littering debris over several neighbourhoods in the western state. 

The Boeing 777-200 returned to Denver International Airport in Colorado and landed safely on Saturday (local time) after experiencing a right-engine failure, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Footage shared online captured the fiery explosion, with the FAA saying it is aware of debris in the vicinity of the airplane's path.

The 231 passengers on-board the stricken aircraft were deplaned and bused to the terminal.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will now investigate the engine failure. The NTSB will lead the inquiry, the FAA said, and will provide additional updates on how the explosion occurred. 

Initial indications suggested the debris had landed in Broomfield, a city in Colorado. The local police department confirmed the reports via Twitter and warned locals not to touch the scraps as they would be used in the investigation.

No injuries have been reported, but it remains unclear whether falling debris caused any damage. 

On Sunday, the police department tweeted an image showing what appeared to be part of the outer cover of the plane's jet engine. Another image showed scraps scattered across a turf field in Broomfield. 

Tyler Thal, who lives in the area, told the Associated Press he witnessed the explosion while out on a walk and saw debris plummeting from the sky.

"I saw an explosion and then the cloud of smoke and some debris falling from it... the plane just kind of continued on and we didn't see it after that," he said.