Maine man recounts ‘dread and panic’ on United 328

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 7:26 AM EST
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HONOLULU COUNTY, Hawaii (WMTW) — A Maine man who was on board United Flight 328 flight from Denver, Colorado, which made an emergency landing after one of its engines burst into flames, is sharing his experience.

Dan Smith, 33, lives in Falmouth.

He works for Maine Medical Center as a cardiac anesthesiologist.

Smith was headed to Oahu, Hawaii, to meet his girlfriend for a vacation.

Fifteen minutes into the flight, he says, there was a large explosion and the cabin started shaking uncontrollably.

“The cabin started shaking uncontrollably. More than just turbulence and it was loud. It was really loud. All of a sudden you could hear something that didn’t sound right with the engine,” Smith said.

Smith says the pilot and crew did an amazing job keeping everyone calm.

“You could see the jet black smoke pouring out of it and you could see fire shooting all over,” Smith said.

Smith is able to find some humor in the harrowing experience.

“Everyone is cheering and applauding and getting up to look and they’re like ‘sit down, the engine is still on fire’ and it was like OK. And you see all the fire trucks come running up and you’re like, OK, this is not over but the fact we’re on the ground, we should be fine,” he said describing the landing.

Smith says he and his girlfriend are both vaccinated and plan to abide by all necessary travel rules and restrictions, including testing upon arrival and return.

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