Passengers recount terrifying ordeal after plane's engine catches fire mid-flight

Passengers recount terrifying ordeal after plane's engine catches fire mid-flight (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) - A terrifying experience in the skies above Salt Lake City after a Southwest Airline plane’s engine suddenly catches fire.

SW flight 609 had just left Salt Lake International Airport and was heading for Los Angeles when passengers on board tell 2News that they heard a loud explosion just after 7 a.m.

“All of a sudden we heard this big pop! Like a boom,” Traci Scarce, who was with her husband and two daughters on the plane and was returning home from a family trip to Salt Lake, said. “What do you do you’ve got shooting flames out the engine it’s crazy. I just looking at these huge white snowy mountains. We are going to crash into these mountains and we are probably going to die.”

Scarce says she huddled with her daughters and prayed.

"I got really really scared and I started crying and I just started praying and holding my sister's hand,” said 10-year-old Bella Scarce to 2News.

“Huge flames coming right out of the engine,” said Crystal Bangerter who is from Salt Lake and was on the plane with her husband for a vacation. This was the first time she had ever flown on an airplane.

"I kind of looked over and saw the look on my husband face and thought this wasn’t normal,” said Bangerter to 2News.

Torrence Elegante who is from Sandy and was on the plane with his uncle says the pilot and crew were amazing as they turned the plane around and flew back to Salt Lake for an emergency landing.

"The pilot just remained completely calm and did an excellent job,” said Elegante.

Another plane was brought in and passengers were flown to LAX.

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