NEWARK, New Jersey (KABC) – A flight to Los Angeles International Airport turned into a horrific experience for dozens of passengers on Wednesday after a mechanical problem caused an emergency landing.
A United Airlines passenger posted a video on social media of what appeared to be flames from one of the aircraft’s engines moments after takeoff.
“The engine ran like 10 times and I saw about six on video with flames and it sounded like gunshots, and everyone panicked,” said Gabrielle Guzy. “It wasn’t like a mass panic. Everyone was sort of shocked, just looking like someone knew what had happened?”
An Orange County resident who was on the flight back from Tel Aviv said he was thinking the worst.
“It was a very normal climb, and we have been on flights hundreds of times, but just when (the pilot) started to look like a step back, there were four or five of the strongest hits that I had never heard, “said the man. “We’re just from the Middle East, so you think, oh man, is this an engine problem, is this a missile? Everything comes to mind.”
He added that some passengers seated near the engine who could have seen the apparent flames were howling.
United Airlines issued a statement saying the plane suffered a mechanical problem and was forced to return to Newark, New Jersey, about 45 minutes later. The aircraft circled the area, emptying fuel before landing safely at the airport.
Passengers were rebooked on a later flight, arriving in Los Angeles on Thursday at around 5 a.m.
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