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Plane Engine Bursts Into Flames Mid-Flight

REUTERS/Louis Nastro

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Ted Goodman Contributor
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United Airlines Flight 837 has returned to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) after one of its engines caught fire mid-air Monday.

Flight 837 departed from San Francisco shortly after 12 pm PT Monday, en route to Narita International Airport in Tokyo, Japan.

Witnesses reported that the plane had caught fire, and sources said one of four engines had been shut down, according to ABC 7.

The plane is a Boeing 747, which can technically operate with just one working engine. Just over 200 passengers and 15 crew members were aboard.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that Flight 837 was returning to San Francisco after the fire, saying the flight was due around 1 pm PT. The plane appeared to stay in a holding pattern for about an hour, with the website FlightRadar24 showing that it circled off of the coast before touching back down.

As of 1:30 pm PT, the website, Flight Aware showed the plane circling at about 40,000 feet near the airport. The pilots made a safe touchdown at approximately 1:35 pm PT, according to the The Mercury News.

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