tv CNN Newsroom With Ana Cabrera CNN February 20, 2021 1:00pm-2:00pm PST
good afternoon. you are live in the cnn newsroom. i'm erica hill in for ana cabrera in new york. millions of people in the winter storm battered state of texas are finally getting a break from the elements. although they still are dealing with a different and desperate problem. they're dealing with a lack of basic utilities. electrical power starting to come back online. this after millions of people spent days and nights in the dark frigid cold. many homes across the state still without running water. people waiting in long lines to get drinking water. that's because their water either hasn't yet been restored by local officials or because their pipes burst when the temperatures dropped this week.
the white house approving a major disaster declaration for the state of texas today and new york congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez is actually in texas after raising millions of people to aid people affected by the brutal storms. >> this is not just an issue for it texans. this is an issue for our entire country. disasters don't strike everyone equally, when you have already have so many families in the state and across the country that are on the brink, that can't even afford an emergency to begin with. if you are documented, undocumented, no matter your income, no matter your housing status, you can get help here. >> cnn's omar jiminez is in austin. half the people in texas, more than 14 million people were told still need water or under a boil water advisory right now. how are folks getting by? >> reporter: that's right, erica. water is really the focus over the course of this weekend as maybe electricity was the focus
early on. we're at a brewery in austin and what you see behind me is they're finishing up filling up this water tank that the austin fire department is going to use to go around to locations that actually need water, and so they have been a huge help with basically what they've been doing is they had water on their own. they've been helping boil water and not just the fire department but others have been able to sort of come around this corner and there's been a steady stream over the course of the day but not any at the moment. they've been able to come here and fill up water bottles and tanks to take back to their homes because as you mentioned, we're under a boil water advisory. not every place has running waters to begin with. texans trying to dig themselves out of the catastrophic week that was and it was not just here in austin but places across texas and houston, for example. they've gotten their water pressure back to where they would like it to have a healthy system, but when you talk to the houston mayor, sylvester turner, he wants more answers like so many others as to how this
happened in the first place so they can prevent it from happening again. >> for anybody that attempts to blame what happened this week in texas on renewables, then totally, totally disingenuous. what is important to bear in mind is that the climate is getting warmer and we have to address the issue of climate change even in the state of texas. anybody who contends that what happened this week was due to renewable energy, they're trying to deflect where the real responsibility lies. >> reporter: president biden approved the major disaster declaration for many counties in the state of texas which means that people are going to be able to provide for individual assistance from the federal government. now, the governor, greg abbott, here in texas, thanks the president for that. however, he said it was a little short of what he wanted.
he was hoping to get it for all 249 counties in texas. the emergency declaration covers 77 counties but largely, encompassing those areas that were hardest hit over the course of this, but again, when you talk about the water that needs to be restored. best case scenario, some places looking at the end of the weekend but that seemed to be the next major hurdle to get people back to some sense of normalcy, at least from what they were before this past week. >> what a week it has been. omar jiminez live in austin for us, thank you. people in one major city in texas managed to avoid the widespread power outage that put most of the state in the dark and the cold last week. the lights in el paso actually stayed on. why? here's cnn's dianne gallagher. >> reporter: no power. no water. it's been the same story across the state of texas this week. well, most of it. >> they're freezing in san antonio, austin, dallas, fort
worth, rio grande valley. we were very, very lucky. >> reporter: the reason the lights never really went out in a major way in el paso is a bit more complicated and rooted in experience. >> we had gas shortages, water shortages, power outages. >> reporter: ralph, like everyone else in el paso, can't forget the 2011 deep freeze. >> it was a catastrophe that hit the city we just weren't prepared for. >> reporter: el paso electric company senior vice president of operations, steve, was in the control room ten years ago this month when it all came crashing down. >> we actually had over three days where the temperature in el paso never got above freezing and we lost most of our local units. those impacts lasted for weeks and weeks after. so we made that decision that we were going to harden our assets, we were going to invest in new technology and invest in new infrastructure. >> reporter: the winterized plant that manager is showing us today exists in part because of that big freeze.
>> designed to run in the summer but a few times where we have an overnight low that we really got to get all the systems up and ready and our team was able to do that. >> it's a lot easier than with a brand-new plant because we design it for minus 10. you have the top technology. it's state-of-the-art. so you can design in these redundant systems. >> reporter: built-in redundancies that needed to be tapped into when natural gas supply dropped. >> we went into diesel operations with the first unit on monday of this week and that's when we started seeing issues with gas pipeline pressure. >> reporter: but another reason el paso isn't in the dark? it's located so far from other lone star cities that it's not on the same power grid as 90% of the rest of texas. there's three power grids in the country. western, eastern, and texas. the only state to have its own grid in part to avoid certain federal regulations. this week, the texas system, oerm
operated by ercot, failed and has faced accusations of being unprepared for the storm. >> i'm taking responsibility for the current status of ercot. again, i find what happened unacceptable. >> reporter: planning for once in a decade storm is expensive, but it is possible and worth it, says el paso, electric, if it prevents disasters like what we're seeing in texas this week. >> when we saw what happened to our community in 2011, we made a decision and said never again. >> reporter: this doesn't mean the winter storm was not challenging here in el paso. in fact, they had employees working around the clock making sure that this city did not suffer the same fate as others in this state. they did say that about 3,000 households lost power but fewer than 900 were for more than five minutes and they say that almost every household had power back on within a few hours. dianne gallagher, cnn, el paso, texas.
>> my next guest has been warning about the u.s. power grid for nearly two decades. bill richards served as energy secretary under president clinton. back in 2003 you said the u.s. was a, quote, super power with a third world power transmission grid. so based on that, are you surprised at all by what we saw this week, this past week in texas? >> well, climate change has caused this. yes, i was surprised. i thought that even though the grid in texas was decentralized and not much regulation, that they would have winterized and they would have taken steps to deal better with the preparedness and maintenance of their grid. but as you mentioned, when i was energy secretary in 2000, we had this grid problem massive in california and then in the midwest, in 2003, rolling blackouts. so we have to modernize our
infrastructure, our power grids. we talk about infrastructure, yes, it's important. bridges, highways, broadband, but left behind is our power grids. the three power grids that exist today but still have not managed to modernize. there's too little capacity. their lines are inefficient. not enough investment and upgrading and maintaining them. so we've got to make an effort in an infrastructure piece of legislation to include our power grid, our energy transmission lines. otherwise, these crises are going to happen nationally. it's not just going to be texas, because of climate change and freezing and overheating and lack of maintenance and modernizing our energy facilities. >> to that point, do you think this is enough of a wake-up call because we've had issues, as you point out, for decades, and
people have been warning of this for decades. is this enough to spur action? >> yes, i believe the president, who's responded well saying we need more energy investments in renewable energy, solar and wind. he's taken these steps to deal with the crisis in texas, the emergency declarations, but i think we've got to go one step further. this is an opportunity to include the power grid in an infrastructure bill but because of our spending on the covid, we're spending trillions, i think this is a way to find a cooperative public/private partnership to invest in the grid. capital markets are ready to work with the government, loan guarantees, ways that together we can find tax credits so that microgrids and the local communities can come from the big grids so local communities
can install rooftop solar, can install water systems that are energy-efficient. i think we've got to be creative but we can't just say we're going to put all federal money into the grid. i think there's an opportunity for co-investments with capital markets. >> and do you -- >> to invest, i believe. >> and do you believe in proposing that, could that be more palatable across the board? there was a lot of finger pointing throughout the week, and everybody wants a scapegoat and a lot turned into politicking, but the bottom line is the system failed. millions of people were left in the cold. at least 26 people died and the issue is not just going to get better from finger pointing. so do you think that that's a way to bring about more bipartisan support which we know exists for investing in infrastructure, but perhaps making it more palatable across the board, something like you propose, a public/private,
bringing in corporations, perhaps? >> yeah, i believe what you just said is the answer. in other words, because of the crisis that just happened. and the fact that the infrastructure initiative has bipartisan support and had it under president trump. they just didn't get it done, but i think today, with this crisis, with the need to modernize our grid because of future potential problems, we can do it, but we can't just say we're going to spend federal money. it's got to be partnerships with states, with local communities, with the private sector. it's got to be incentives so that capital markets can invest in infrastructure, so that they invest in renewable energy and solar and wind. we should stop this politicking. to blame the solar and wind that accounts just 10% of the grid there when the natural gas pipelines in texas were exploding because the control
heads hadn't been modernized in ten years, they weren't working. this is not a time to play politics. texas was affected with oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear and renewables, but it was the grid and it's a lack of regulation and investment that caused this. so let's try to fix this, make it a national bipartisan effort and i think president biden is on the right path in pushing short-term for helping texas and also a national strategy but something creative like a public/private partnership capital markets on infrastructure, on our grid, i think needs to be proposed and pushed on a bipartisan basis. >> bill richardson, always appreciate your insight, thank you. breaking news out of colorado. reports of airplane debris in several neighborhoods outside of denver. according to the police department, a number of debris
responded. a man in the area took these photos, you can see some of the debris here. the broomfield police department tweeting that it has been getting reports of a plane flying over the area with engine trouble. the debris dropped in several neighborhoods around 1:08 p.m. local time. good news, no injuries reported. the plane did not land in broomfield but broomfield, about 20 miles north of denver, about 30 miles east of denver international airport, where we want to go straight now to cnn's peter pete muntean, our aviation correspondent. as i understand it, an official confirmed that a united plane on route to hawaii had engine issues, returned to denver international airport. what more do we know? >> reporter: that's right, erica. it's really remarkable, these images that we're seeing that keep coming in. denver international airport officials now tell us united flight 328, a boeing 777, large
wide body airliner, bound for honolulu, returned to the airport after having engine trouble and neighbors say, who took these photos of the large airplane parts, heard a loud boom and the parts rained down into their yard and looks like parts of the engine of this boeing 777 really, more images keep coming up by the moment and you have to applaud the flight crew here for doing such an incredible job of getting this airplane back. this is so may incredibly rare and then make a successful return back to the airport. really, pretty incredible flying by the crew. sounds like passengers have been getting off of this flight,
talking to local media. they cheered when the plane landed, of course. but this is something that is very abnormal, very unique and very rare. and it seems like a really professional job by the flight crew. we're standing by for more from united airlines and standing by for more from the faa. >> absolutely. >> coordination had to take place to get this airplane back safely. >> as you point out, the local police department saying no injuries reported at this time. these pictures keep coming in of the debris. no injuries on board the plane, landed safely. all that is so remarkable. i was looking at these pictures earlier, pete, and i was trying to figure out what this large disc is in the front yard of the home. you're saying that disc, essentially, that we see, that looks like it would be part of the engine? >> reporter: to me, this looks like part of the engine, essentially, the part that
surrounds the fast-moving turbine inside of the jet engine. this is sort of the outer exterior portion, is what it looks like to me. one of the photos, looks like it's the very front of the engine around the opening for the jet engine. another photo to me looks like part of the pylon that hangs off of the wing that contains the actual jet engine. these are really robust, highly engineered pieces. one has to wonder as you look at this, and you hear the reports of a boom like this that was audible from the ground is, was there an explosion of some type and how big it had to be to shake loose parts from a very well fortified airplane such as the boeing 777. really incredible that this even happened in the first place, and incredible that they got back safely. really, good work. >> it certainly is. as you mentioned, people getting
off the plane. i know there were reports from local media, they were cheering as they landed. you said it was a 777. we know it was supposed to be on route to honolulu. do we know how many passengers were on board? >> i don't think we know that just yet. we're still waiting on official word on that from the airline. it would be the only one who could tell us how many people were on board. a 777 like this is usually, these flights are packed with people and a 777 is a very large airliner, a wide bodied airliner. not the sort of more narrow body like a 737 with one aisle down the center and typically coach in the back, two aisles so usually a 2-3-2 seating c config configuration. a lot of people would usually be on them, but because of the pandemic, they're not operating
at the level before the pandemic. but we don't have the official count yet. >> we have this image up on the screen, you know, of this front part as you pointed out of what appears to be the part of the engine. i mean, just put this in perspective for us. we're talking about how remarkable this would be, but to land a plane that, from what we know at this point, had lost an engine, right, to land that plane safely with as of now, no injuries. we just get some live pictures here, also of this town just outside denver, as we look for some of the debris there. just put that in perspective for us. not only the rarity of that, but just how remarkable that would be for the pilot, for the flight crew to do this. >> 777 is a twin engine jet. two jet engines, which adds a lot of redundancy. you don't see any single engine jets in most airliners but
harder to fly on one engine. if the reports we're hearing of an explosion are accurate, it sounds like you could only fly on one engine at that point and that's essentially like, if you ever paddled a canoe or kayak, it's essentially like flying an airplane with a dragon paddle after one side and only able to paddle with the other side. the plane sort of flies a little sideways and it takes a lot of training to be able to do that properly and to be able to make sure that the airplane sort of doesn't turn into the dead engine and can still fly straight and then also, it's not just in the air, but to do that with the landing. the conditions are dynamic and so to be able to keep the airplane aligned straight, i'm seeing new video on social media, on twitter of what looked to be a near perfect landing. aside from the fact that what
looks like the engine was completely inoperable and may have had an explosion of some t type, so really good flying by these pilots and a testament to their training. you know, professional flight crews like this train all of the time in simulators and to be a 777 captain and first officer, you have to have a lot of experience to do that. so it's a testament to how safe commercial air travel is in this modern era. >> just such an excellent point, not only the initial training but the continued training that these flight crews go through. we're looking at live pictures now. i don't think you can see this but to give folks tuning in now, if you're just joining us, what you're looking at are some pictures from our affiliate, kmgh, from the chopper, we look at on the ground. it looks like you can see a yellow police tape. you see a vehicle, presumably
from the red vehicle from the fire department, that's because there's debris on the ground, which is presumed to be from this united airlines flight. we're going to take a quick break as we gather a little bit more information for you. but stay with us, again, we're with breaking news of broken air debris outside of denver from a united airlines flight which we're told now landed safely at denver international airport. we'll have the latest for you on the other side of this break. stay with us. ce for members like martin. an air force veteran made of doing what's right, not what's easy. so when a hailstorm hit, usaa reached out before he could even inspect the damage. that's how you do it right. usaa insurance is made just the way martin's family needs it with hassle-free claims, he got paid before his neighbor even got started. because doing right by our members, that's what's right. usaa. what you're made of, we're made for. ♪ usaa ♪ jackson hewitt knows your job description we're made for. may have changed this year. to say...
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which is just north of denver, 25 miles east of denver international airport. the local police department tweeting they first received information about debris falling in different neighborhoods in broomfield around 1:08 local time, just about an hour and 20 minutes or so ago. and now as we piece everything together, what we can tell you is that flight did safely land. how the pilot, the flight crew were able to do that, perhaps nothing short of miraculous as we start to piece together what happened. these are live pictures of the debris in someone's front yard, as you can see there. cnn's aviation correspondent pete muntean is with us on the phone. for people just joining us, you were telling us what this giant circle in front of the office. you believe that's likely one part of the two on the 777.
>> it looks like part of the engine nicel, the structure around, and in the statement from the faa saying this flight safely returned to denver international airport, united airlines flight. and we know now specifically the problem in the right engine, failure of the right engine shortly after takeoff and the faa said it's investigating reports of this debris that rained down on people's yards on the plane's flight path, which also is so interesting in the statement we're just finding out, the passengers had been deplaned on the runway. runway there at denver and then bussed back to the terminal. this is really an incredible and such a rare situation in the world of commercial aviation, which is safer than it has ever been. people on the ground reported hearing a loud boom and then finding all this debris in their yard. really, hats off to the flight crew here. the video and photos on social
media keep popping of what appears to be this right engine completely torn apart. i'm a pilot, flown my whole life. pilots train and drill from the get-go in their training how to deal with an engine failure and it's not easy, especially when you're confronted with the startle factor of all this. given the fact these folks on the ground are reporting a loud boom, can't imagine what this flight crew was going through and how busy they had to be, a busy time, especially, just after taking off, typically, in a commercial airliner, to have to turn back after something like this. and deal with the emergency, really, is a testament to their training and their professionalism as pilots. really something not easy to do. >> pete, you pointed out in that statement you just received from the faa they said it was the right engine that failed shortly after takeoff. just give us a sense. you talk about the intense
training flight crews go through but if you lose one engine in this massive airliner, if you could, just again, put in perspective for us what it is like for that flight crew, for the pilot not only to suddenly realize as you pointed out that you have lost an engine, but now you are trying to pilot this aircraft and to land it safely. it is just a remarkable feat to put it mildly. >> it's very, very tricky. twin engine airplanes, even still, the fundamentals. when you're flying an airplane with two engines and lose one of them, we're not talking about losing literally one of them but the engine fails for some reason, there's a whole set of procedures you have to go through and then the physics of the airplane changed dramatically in a commercial airliner like this. it's still the same as on an
airplane with two engines as well. you're essentially flying with a big dragon, if you've ever been with a kayak or canoe on one side and really only turn it into the dead engine. it can be very difficult and because of that, the airplane loses a lot of its inherent performance. it can't climb as well. it can't turn as well. it makes it much harder to control. commercial airliners are very powerful and because of the pandemic, it's probably safe to assume that this airplane was not completely full and maybe a bit on the lighter side rather than the heavy/fully loaded which worked to the crew's favor but have to encounter the problem, figure out the problem, work through it and follow a certain set of procedures to make sure that the engine is shut off and safe, that it couldn't cause any more potential damage and then to have to return to the airport is
a testament to the crew but also the folks on the ground who handled it. the air traffic controllers, i'm sure, as this develops, we're going to hear live air traffic control audio and typically in these cases, the high stakes, high risk scary situations for our flight crew, very smooth and calm and that's because pilots and flight crews, also the folks in the back and the flight attendants train for things like this and make sure when it happens, they can deal with it quickly and easily as if it's second nature. >> they know exactly how to spring into action. pete, stay with us. i know you're also working a number of your sources as you try to get more information from the airline, the faa. we are showing you, for folks tuning in at home here, these are pictures from our affiliate kmgh. these are pictures, we believe, of broomfield, kocolorado. this is where the police department they first received reports of debris falling in a number of neighborhoods.
that's why we're showing you these aerial pictures as our affiliate obviously trying to get a sense of where there may be some of this debris on the ground. stay with us. we're going to take a short break here on cnn, but our live coverage of this breaking news continues right here, again, united airlines flight. denver to honolulu, experiencing, according to the faa who tells our pete muntean, it safely returned to denver international airport after the right engine failed shortly after takeoff, landed safely. we'll have the very latest for you on the other side of this short break. you're live in the cnn newsroom. it's either the assurance of a 165-point certification process. or it isn't. it's either testing an array of advanced safety systems. or it isn't. it's either the peace of mind of a standard unlimited mileage warranty. or it isn't. for those who never settle, it's either mercedes-benz certified pre-owned. or it isn't. the mercedes-benz certified pre-owned sales event. now through march 1st. shop online or drop by your local dealer today.
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our breaking news. a massive 777 airliner, operated by united airlines, of course, making an emergency landing after its right engine failed. before that emergency landing though, huge pieces of debris falling in a neighborhood near denver. at least one piece landing just inches from a home. you're looking at these pieces on what appear to be soccer fields. when we pull out to a bigger view there, our affiliate kmgh bringing us these pictures. we can tell you, we have been told all passengers are okay. the plane was able to land safely. joining us now is cnn aviation analyst mary schiavo, former inspector general for the u.s. department of transportation. mary, always good to have you with us in these moments. i'm hoping you've been able to see some of these pieces of debris. our aviation correspondent pete muntean saying one of them really looked like an engine
nacelle. >> this was a catastrophic engine failure. people think that the cowling around the engine will contain it but it really won't because an engine coming apart, the shrapnel literally spinning from the engine, flies at hundreds of miles an hour. coming apart in the aircraft. very dangerous, the flight, of course, extremely lucky, but the real issue will be how old was the engine, who manufactured the engine. there was a boeing 747 that suffered one just a few days ago in europe and so they'll be looking to see if there's some sort of systemic issue that can exist on more than one aircraft engine or if this was something related to maintenance, but indeed, these are very large pieces. it's not unusual for parts to
fall off in an aircraft. it's something we certainly don't want to see, but you know everything from parts of landing gear. many things have fallen off a plane, but usually not this much of an engine. >> it's also too, as we look at where this happened. so we are seeing tweets from the broomfield, colorado, police department. they said their first reports came in around 1:08 of people reporting debris. there was a sound that people heard. so was it an explosion or a boom? those are things we're trying to track down at this point, but the police department saying, there are several neighborhoods and we're seeing several different areas with these massive pieces of debris. the fact that, as of this point, the police department is saying there have been no injuries reported is remarkable. >> it truly is, and of course, part of the credit goes to where the airport is located.
you remember the old denver airport near next to the city, right over people's heads and of course, 20 years ago, they moved it to d.i.a., denver international and that's one of the things you want. when you build a new airport, you want it away from the population. long runways with no hazards at the end of the runway. long parallel runways. so part of the credit here goes to the fact that this was not over a major city and the other thing that's interesting is most uncontained engine failures do happen on takeoff and climbout. it doesn't look fortunate in the pictures but very fortunate this happened on takeoff and they could get back to the airport. imagine if they were out over the ocean and had thousands of miles to get back to an airport.
and so lots of fortune and some planning that allowed this to have a good ending. >> of course including a safe landing, we're told. passengers, on the runway. and then being bussed in. i know we're going to get some more details but just quickly before we let you go on this point, i don't think we can underscore how critical the training and the skill of the flight crew are in here, in this equation. >> absolutely. this is something pilots do train for, whether you fly a single engine. you train for an engine out but that being said, it's very difficult. kudos to the pilots for keeping it in the air and under control, a safe controlled landing but it is something they're trained for and that's why pilots have to have thousands of hours, well, not by law, the faa allows you to have a commercial flight to
license for a few hundred hours, but most major carriers, their captains have thousands of hours and the training matters. >> certainly does. and mary, as always, really appreciate your expertise. stay with us, everyone. we follow this breaking news. you're looking, of course, at this debris. cameras moving around here to get a better look at some of the debris on the ground in broomfield, colorado, outside of denver. i'm going to speak with an eyewitness to this debris next. ♪ ♪ ♪
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with paycom, employees enter and manage their own hr data in one easy-to-use software. visit paycom.com for a free demo. we are following breaking news this afternoon. a united airlines passenger plane and massive boeing 777 experiencing what our own aviation expert said looks like catastrophic engine failure. this is what has been found on the ground. bits and pieces of what appear to be an engine from that plane. now, the plane, united airlines flight 328 was en route from
denver to honolulu, turned around after what the faa tells my colleague pete muntean was a right engine that failed shortly after takeoff, was able to land safely, back at denver international airport which is not too far from broomfield, colorado, which is where you're looking at this debris. and several site in the area. karen took some pictures of the debris. glad you're safe. just walk us through what happened. >> thanks, erica. it was about an hour ago. i was playing with our two kids at a local elementary school, honestly on the basketball just having fun. an airplane was flying really high overhead and basically what sounded like a sonic boom made everybody look up. as we did, we could see there was a giant black cloud of smoke
high up in the sky. immediately followed by what looked like pieces of the aircraft, really just coming off and basically a shower of things that were falling out of the sky. so immediately, you could see stuff walking down. quite hard to get a sense of, you know, how big things were because it was so up, but after a while, started to get closer to the ground, you could really see there was giant, what looked like and one in particular that was a giant "o" ring that was just plummeting to the ground and unbelievably, the plane kept going on its own trajectory. but yeah, basically, just all the stuff started showering down on the neighborhood. >> and so you're exposed, right, so you're at the playground with your kids on a saturday afternoon like so many families. i imagine you're watching this not only in disbelief but there must have been a moment as well, was there somewhere you could
seek shelter? were you worried this debris was actually coming toward you and your family? >> yeah, totally. i mean, after a moment of shock and disbelief, i was like, what the heck was that and then is everybody on that plane okay, because it sounded like something exploded but when you could see stuff float down, we didn't know what it was. it looked like rubber, it looked like metal. who knows if there's jet fuel in there, luckily enough, we took shelter at a near gazebo at the playground we're at and watched it come down and we could see, it was really starting to land about 2 or 3 blocks just, a few houses over from where we were. >> so that's when you made your way over there. you snapped some of the pictures which we're showing now. were you, was the homeowner there? were you able to speak with the folks who live in that house? i'm guessing they're okay. >> yeah, somehow, unbelievably, they're okay. there was one or two houses we came over with giant holes in
the roof and big pieces of metal. this looks like a giant circular engine piece that hit top of his rv, bounced off of his garage and somehow landed on his front porch, but did get the chance to speak to him. in his words, oh my gosh, for a couple of minutes there, it was raining metal, were his words and then suddenly, this giant thing just landed on his house. >> as you made your way over there, you said the first responders in town were not very far behind you. what else did you see as you walked over there and what did they say to you? >> totally. we saw the incident go down. i immediately called 9/11 and said, this is an area where stuff falling. as soon as i hung up the phone, there were sirens, so they were there right away. on this one particular street when i took these photos,
literally every ten feet, there was a giant piece of metal. looks like pieces of wing. the type of things you might see on an airplane with instructions on it you might see on door of an aircraft, but certainly not contained to the one street. since we've been here, the first responders are cordoning off with tape streets in the area. there's a giant park right across the street they've just put police tape all the way around. so literally, the spread of the debris is going on for several block radius. and yeah, there's just stuff. the ground is littered with all kinds of different pieces of junk. >> which is amazing and just giant pieces at that. i don't know if your power lines are aboveground or not in broomfield, but if they are, did you see any downed power lines? did anything appear to be, you mentioned the one piece of debris we kept seeing that bounced, you said the homeowner bounced off of his rv into his word. did you see anything else sort of stuck in trees or any way
that may also be cause for a neighborhood to be sectioned off just from a safety perspective as well? >> well, i think one thing we did see, erica, i like to point out, there's been a couple looking out of the neighborhood. told people not to touch the debris. we see people trying to pick up pieces and take photos. instantly the first responders told them not to do that because they don't know what's on there and if it's safe. even heard one first responder say these are not souvenirs. so it's more about, besides the debris, anything from maybe the size of a quarter up to pieces 2 to 6 feet in length and obviously the big circular engine thing we've seen but all kinds of different debris and materials. other than the holes we've seen in some roofs and stuff falling on cars and houses, nothing else besides that but it's really
hard, honestly, to get a good sense of it because it spread over so many houses and streets. >> yeah, it's just amazing the size as we're going to learn of this debris field in the town. do you know, i know you were saying areas are being cordoned off, first responders putting up that caution tape to keep people out. have they evacuated any area you're aware of? >> we were here on the main street we're on right now. it seems like a lot of activity called elmwood in broomfield, colorado. we witnessed they were going house to house doing searching to make sure people were okay. didn't hear anyone as they reported back, one of the houses with a giant hole in its roof, some piece of metal fell into that family's attic and luckily, nobody was in the house at the time it appears so despite there being a bunch of ambulances and things like that, luckily, have not seen actually anything be impacted or injured. >> that is good news, as you
point out. wow. what a day. kieran cain, we appreciate you being with us. you mentioned your kids. how are they doing? >> they're doing okay. it's the last thing you expect to see at the local playground and there's a massive, kind of like a sonic boom in the sky, which rattled anybody, first of all, just the sound of it but once you started seeing stuff fall down, quite significant pieces out of the sky, their immediate anderson 11 and 8, th immediate thoughts are is everybody okay on the airplane? the surprise i had is something could make a noise like that and giant pieces off the plane and then continue on its trajectory like nothing happened. so hopefully everybody is doing okay on the airplane. >> to your point, what we've learned, and maybe you can pass on to your kids as well who clearly have their hearts in the
right place when we hear their initial reaction, my colleague, our aviation correspondent told by the faa, they did land safely. for folks just joining us, we're talking about what is happening just outside of denver, in broomfield, colorado. we look at pictures of airline debris in the front yard of homes and across this town after united airlines flight 328, boeing 777, had a right engine failure according to the faa shortly after takeoff. this flight was scheduled to go from denver to honolulu today, turned around and the pilot and flight crew was able to land the aircraft safely back at denver international airport which is about 25 miles away, as i understand it, from this town, broomfield, colorado, outside of denver. >> thank you very much. >> the flight landed safely. passengers were able to deplane and cheering understandably as the plane landed, they were deplaned, we're told by our
aviation correspondent pete muntean. they deplaned on the runway and took a bus in. what we know so far from the faa is there was a failure in the right engine and that is what caused the issue shortly after takeoff. it did safely return. we were just listening to kieran cain who was at a playground with 11 and 8 year old when they heard a sonic boom, in his words and then saw a giant black cloud of smoke and all of a sudden, this shower is the way he described it, falling from the sky that appeared to be plane parts and as they got closer, could see really what they were. he and his family took shelter under a gazebo in that park in the nearby playground where they were and then made their way a couple of blocks over to see some of the debris. he actually took a picture, not sure if we can put it up. this picture that kieran cain took of some of the debris in the yard. he spoke with the homeowner who
said that giant ring that you see which we believe what's called the engine nacelle, part of that right engine. the homeowner said it bounced off of his rv, ultimately landing basically on his front stoop. he says he's okay. the family is okay. again, kieran cain, who took this picture, said first responders were on the scene almost immediately. he called 9/11, heard sirens behind him immediately and saw officers going door to door making sure people were okay, checking on homes and we, i believe, are going now to a press conference. let's listen in. >> the neighborhood, which isn't far from here, just here to my left. so we started to get reports. we dispatched police officers and within minutes, we were on scene of some of these homes and we actually saw some of these large pieces of debris which you're seeing circulate on social media. remarkably, we have had no injuries reported yet.
so considering how nice the weather is today compared to last weekend, the amount of debris and how far it stretches, the dog park is here and the turf field behind me and we have had no reports of any injuries. the biggest thing right now is we are now securing the scene and the debris for the ntsb. they dispatched a team to this area. we're asking people, because the debris was so far and wide, if you find debris in your home, near your home, in your neighborhood, please don't touch it. please don't move it. just leave it there. call dispatch. you can call 303-438-6100 or 9-1-1 if it's an emergency. let us know because we want to get an idea of how far hthis debris field is. >> what are some of the reports you've been hearing from folks on the ground? >> we have a lot of people coming by and mostly was the sound. a lot of people say they heard the really loud explosion which startled a lot of people and then they just started seeing basically what they thought was
the plane falling from the sky but it was debris. it's hard to determine exactly what it is. i did kind of comb through some of the debris. it looks like possibly some exterior pieces of the plane, but people then just started calling us and said there's basically a plane falling from the sky. there were reports of smoke and possibly some flames. but we did hear reports that the plane has landed safely at dia, so we're thankful for that. i cannot confirm at this point if it was a commercial plane or not, but the video that we've seen out on social media and what people have been telling us is it was a rather large passenger plane. >> such a large area, how long does an investigation like this take and what kind of impact is it going to have on the limits around here? >> so i can't say specifically how long the investigation will take. the ntsb will determine that but the amount of crime scene tape in the area we're trying to secure is very unprecedented for us. weyi