Boeing grounds 777s after engine fire
It is a fresh blow for the beleaguered US aviation giant that was forced to ground another fleet of planes after a series of deadly crashes.
"I have just had confirmation that all the 777s equipped with this engine have been grounded," a spokeswoman for the planemaker told AFP in a text message.
Flight UA328 had been headed from Denver to Honolulu when it experienced engine failure shortly after departure.
Residents in the Denver suburb of Broomfield found large pieces of the plane scattered around their community.
Its front cowling, which landed in the front yard of a house, was entirely missing as the aircraft returned to Denver airport.
There were no injuries on the plane or on the ground, authorities said.
The US Federal Aviation Administration had ordered extra inspections of some passenger jets after the incident.
Steve Dickson, the head of the regulator, said he had consulted with experts, signalling the planes would likely be removed from the air.
"I have directed them to issue an Emergency Airworthiness Directive that would require immediate or stepped-up inspections of Boeing 777 airplanes equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines," he said in a statement.
Officials from the FAA met with Pratt & Whitney and Boeing representatives on Sunday evening, he added.
The US National Transportation and Safety Board also said it is investigating the incident, while United Airlines, Asiana, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways grounded their planes earlier.
Japan's transport ministry had earlier said it had ordered stricter inspections of the engine after a Japan Airlines 777 plane flying from Haneda to Naha experienced trouble with "an engine in the same family" in December.
Asiana Airlines, South Korea's second-largest carrier, had also said it would not fly any of its seven currently operational 777s.
Fresh blow for Boeing
The manufacturer's 737 MAX was grounded worldwide in March 2019 after 346 people died in two crashes -- the 2019 Lion Air disaster in Indonesia and an Ethiopian Airlines crash the following year.
Investigators said a main cause of both crashes was a faulty flight handling system known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS.
Boeing was forced to revamp the system and implement new pilot training protocols.
This month the aircraft made its first commercial flight in Europe since the grounding, after the continent's air safety regulator EASA approved the return of the 737 MAX.
The FAA and Britain's Civil Aviation Authority have also cleared the aircraft for flying again.
The 737 MAX was a big hit with airlines, becoming Boeing's fastest-selling aircraft until its grounding, which has now been lifted.
After the Covid-19 crisis decimated demand, airlines cancelled hundreds of orders for the plane.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the temporary restriction applied to jets equipped with Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 series engines.
"I will continue to work closely with the (UK Civil Aviation Authority) to monitor the situation," he tweeted.
The CAA said the engine was not used by any UK airlines.
"It is operated by airlines in the USA, Japan and South Korea where authorities have also stopped its use."