Several passengers have retained Clifford Law Offices after suffering severe post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from a United Airlines flight that experienced a fiery engine loss while travelling from Denver to Hawaii on Feb. 20.
UA Flight UA328 Boeing 777-200 was en route to Honolulu when four minutes after takeoff an explosion occurred, and the right engine was engulfed in flames. Pilots were forced to turn back to Denver as passengers witnessed the plane on fire on the right side of the wing and the engine reportedly was missing. A loud bang could be heard on the plane’s cockpit voice recorder that was later recovered.
Pilots were able to land the plane with one engine and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has since reported it is investigating other planes with similar engines to see if the defect is widespread. The flight time of terror was 24 minutes before the plane touched ground.
“The passengers on this flight thought it was going to be their last,” said Robert A. Clifford, founder and senior partner at Clifford Law Offices in Chicago, an internationally-renown aviation firm. He is lead counsel in the crash of a Boeing 737 MAX airliner that crashed in Ethiopia two years ago killing all 157 onboard. He represents the families of 72 of those victims. “Imagine as a passenger looking out the window of a plane and helplessly watching the engine on fire. The terror you experience lasts a lifetime.”
Video posted on Twitter from the emergency showed the engine fully engulfed in flames as the plane flew. Pieces of the aircraft were discovered on the ground below, including debris crashing through a home and narrowly missing a half-dozen teams at soccer practice on a nearby field.
Two hundred forty people were aboard that flight and many later reported they were praying the entire way back to the airport, hoping they would still see their children again. Several have contacted Clifford Law Offices in light of the severe trauma they experienced and to ensure that they get answers as to what happened in this incident.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is conducting an investigation into the crash that can take up to a year or more to conclude.