HOUSTON—A United Airlines crew declared an emergency when an engine on a Boeing 737-900 carrying 180 people shut down as the aircraft descended into Houston, federal authorities said Monday, March 11.
Flight 1168 was carrying 174 passengers and six crew members late Sunday when the engine trouble began near George Bush Intercontinental Airport. It was traveling from Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.
FAA: Engine trouble prompted a United plane out of Newark to issue an emergency last night. It was also a Boeing 737. https://t.co/gkW4a2cQQZ
— The Morning Call (@mcall) March 11, 2019
The emergency came the same day an Ethiopian Airlines’ Boeing 737 Max 8 crashed, killing 157 people. Another plane of the same model crashed last October in Indonesia, killing 189. The 737 Max 8 is a newer model that’s part of a fleet meant to replace the 737-900 and other Boeing aircraft.
One passenger on the United flight, Chris Morrison, told Houston media outlets that he heard a loud bang, felt a strong vibration and saw a flash of light.
Philip Morrow, also a passenger, said he saw flames coming from the engine.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford said emergency responders found no evidence of fire or smoke and that crews were investigating the aircraft Monday.
United spokeswoman Rachael Rivas said some people suffered minor injuries while using inflatable slides to evacuate the plane.