United flight forced to return to Houston airport after engine catches fire shortly after takeoff

Mar 7, 2024, 1:41 AM

HOUSTON (AP) — A United flight from Houston to Fort Myers, Texas, was forced turn around Monday after one of the plane’s engines caught fire.

Several of the 167 passengers aboard the Boeing 737 took video showing a line of flames shooting out of the engine, KTRK-TV reported.

“I remember there was just this bright, flashing light that came through the window, and it sounded like a bomb went off, and then it was just a strobe of fire out the window,” said David Gruninger, who was on the connecting flight home to Florida with 15 of his friends after attending a wedding in Mexico.

FlightAware shows Flight 1118 taking off from George Bush Intercontinental Airport at 6:40 p.m. It turned around at 6:52 p.m.

“It was our left engine, our number one engine, that was surging when we were climbing through about 10,000 (feet), and flight attendants saw momentary flames back there,” a pilot can be heard saying on radio transmissions.

The plane landed back at Bush Airport at 7:13 p.m., just 33 minutes after takeoff.

“It was a very turbulent ride back, and it was a pretty harsh landing,” Gruninger told KTRK. “This is something I’ll remember every time I get on a flight now.”

United flew its passengers to Fort Myers a few hours later on a different plane.

The plane with engine trouble is scheduled to depart Bush Airport for Orlando at 7:20 a.m. Thursday.

Emails from United provided by a passenger show they offered travelers a $200 flight credit and a $15 meal voucher.

“United flight 1118 returned to Houston shortly after takeoff due to an engine issue. The flight landed safely, and the passengers deplaned normally. We arranged for a new aircraft to take our customers to their destination, which departed for Fort Myers later that evening,” the airline said in a statement.

National News

Associated Press

Philadelphia police officer shot by fleeing suspect is in critical condition

A Philadelphia police officer was shot in the neck and was in critical condition Saturday night, officials said. The 31-year-old officer was in critical condition and undergoing surgery at Temple University Hospital, Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said during a news conference outside the hospital. The officer, a veteran of more than six years on the […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

A fourth victim has died a day after a shooting at an Arkansas grocery store, police say

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Police say a fourth victim has died a day after a shooting at an Arkansas grocery store. The person died Saturday evening, Arkansas state police said in a statement. A total of 14 people were wounded in Friday’s shooting, according to police: “11 civilians, two law enforcement officers and the […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

2 people were taken to a hospital after lightning struck a tree near a PGA Tour event in Connecticut

CROMWELL, Conn. (AP) — Two people were taken to the hospital Saturday after lightning struck a tree near a home along a golf course that is hosting the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship. The home is just north of the fifth green at TPC River Highlands, which is hosting the tournament one week after the U.S. […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Rains, cooler weather help firefighters gain ground on large wildfires in southern New Mexico

RUIDOSO, N.M. (AP) — Recent rains and cooler weather are helping more than 1,000 firefighters gain ground on two wildfires in southern New Mexico on Saturday that have killed two people, destroyed hundreds of homes and forced thousands to flee. Fire crews took advantage of temperatures in the 70s, scattered showers and light winds to […]

11 hours ago

Associated Press

One dead, seven injured after shooting at Kentucky nightclub

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — One person is dead and seven others were injured after a shooting at a Kentucky nightclub early Saturday morning, authorities say. Louisville Metro Police Department officials said they responded to a call of several people shot at the H20 nightclub in Louisville just before 1 a.m. One man, 40-year-old Joseph D. […]

12 hours ago

Associated Press

Man trying to drown 2 children on Connecticut beach is stopped by officers, police say

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A man trying to drown two small children at a Connecticut beach early Saturday morning was thwarted by police officers, according to authorities. An officer spotted an SUV parked on a beach in West Haven at about 2:30 a.m. and heard “significant screaming” from the water as he approached. As […]

12 hours ago

United flight forced to return to Houston airport after engine catches fire shortly after takeoff