Colorado couple have narrow escape when huge chunk of plane’s debris lands in yard

Colorado couple have narrow escape when huge chunk of plane’s debris lands in yard
Kirby Klements speaks with reporters after a large chunk of metal that fell from a United Airlines flight fell onto the yard of his home in Broomfield, Colorado. (David Zalubowski/Associated Press)

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — Kirby Klements and his wife were spending a relaxing Saturday afternoon at their Colorado home when they heard a loud noise. Then, they saw a large chunk of metal debris fly past their window.

Debris from a United Airlines jet fell onto Denver suburbs, including Broomfield, where the Klementses live. Flight 328, a Boeing 777 that had taken off from Denver International Airport bound for Honolulu, returned to the airport and made an emergency landing after one of its engines failed.

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“Yeah, it was pretty surprising,” Klements told CNN in an on-air interview. “My wife and I were sitting inside the house, just finishing up with the paper, when we heard this big bang. We kinda looked at each other, and go, ‘What was that?’

“Then, all of a sudden there was a bang and a crash, and this object just rolled right in front of our house, right out the front window.”

Klements said his first instinct was that the plane had crashed.

“First, I thought it was debris from a trampoline from my neighbor’s yard,” Klements told The Denver Post. “Came out and knew right away that it was the front of an engine of an airplane.”

Debris crashed onto the bed of Klements’ truck, crushing the cab and grinding the vehicle into the dirt.

“If it had been 10 feet different, it would have landed right on top of the house,” Klements told The Associated Press. “And if anyone had been in the truck, they would have been dead.”

Klements, who is described on his LinkedIn profile as an electrical/electronic manufacturing professional, saw the circular engine cowling, a piece of metal that measured approximately 15 feet in diameter, according to the AP.

“I looked up, and there were pieces of this honeycomb soundproofing insulation that goes around the engine that was just floating through the air like ash from a volcano,” Klements told CNN. “It probably floated down for a good three, four minutes before it all landed.”

Debris from a plane rests in front of Kirby Klements' house in Broomfield, Colorado.
Debris from a plane rests in front of Kirby Klements' house in Broomfield, Colorado. (Broomfield Police Department via AP)

Broomfield police Sgt. Todd Dahlbach said there were no reported injuries related to the falling debris, The Post reported.

“We are absolutely fortunate that no one was hurt,” Dahlbach told the newspaper.

Two houses sustained damage, along with several vehicles, Dalbach said.

Emergency responders, including police, ambulances and fire crews, rushed into the neighborhood. Mary Ellen Sucato, 81, who lives across the street from Klementses, told The Post that “people were running everywhere.”

“At first I thought it was part of a UFO,” Sucato told the newspaper.

Klements identified the foreign object, but he was still stunned about what happened.

“It was a little overwhelming because I knew what it was, but I didn’t really piece together why it was here,” Klements told CNN.