Passengers freak out as airplane engine falls apart mid-flight

Passengers aboard a Frontier flight Friday freaked out when the engine cover ripped off their plane while in the air, according to a new report.

Shocking footage of the view from a window on the Las Vegas to Tampa flight shows a piece of metal called a cowling peeled off the Airbus A320, with the engine’s machinery exposed.

“It was like a riot on the plane,” Frontier Airlines Flight 260 passenger CJ Gunnerson told CBS affiliate WTSP. “[People were] jumping up screaming, slamming on the roof. Yelling stop.”

Another passenger told the network she texted her daughter to say she loved her amid the panic.

“I was sleeping, and I woke up to a lot of screaming and yelling,” Stella Ponce told the outlet. “People were yelling for the pilot to stop. Two women were crying, and people were pointing out the window.”

The flight, which took off for Tampa at 7:12 a.m., was quickly turned around and landed safely at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport at 7:27 a.m., USA Today reports.

“Our pilots followed procedure and immediately returned to the airport,” Frontier spokeswoman Allison Redmon said in a statement to news outlets.

“The engine continued to operate normally and the aircraft, an Airbus 320, landed safely. Safety is our top priority at Frontier Airlines and we would like to acknowledge the professionalism of our pilots and flight attendants.”

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