United Airlines Engine Catches Fire During Flight to Texas

Passengers onboard a United Airlines flight from Newark International Airport to George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston were forced to evacuate when a plane engine caught fire on Sunday.

Officials said the engine on the Boeing 737-900 caught fire at around 10:30 p.m., just before it landed in Houston. Passengers aboard Flight 1168 reported hearing loud sounds before they were ordered to evacuate the plane.

"I was actually kind of dozing off, sleeping, and I heard a really loud bang," passenger Chris Morrison told KHOU. "Shortly after that, it started vibrating a lot. There was a very crazy, distinct vibration on the whole plane. Everyone started getting a little uncomfortable."

Morrison told the station that the pilot came on the PA system and said the flight was beginning its decent. "Vibration got worse," the passenger said. "And then I saw a flash of light outside the window. I was sitting right on the wing where the engine had the issue."

Passengers began to panic and hit the flight attendant call button, Morrison said.

Once the flight touched down, power was shut off and the plane rolled to a stop. Passengers and crew were evacuated and made to jump out of the plane on emergency slides, KTRK reported. After a half an hour of being on the tarmac, passengers were sent to the United Club at the airport.

"United flight 1168 from Newark, New Jersey, to Houston experienced an issue with one of the engines shortly before landing," United Airlines said in a statement to KTRK. "After landing safely, customers were evacuated from the aircraft and were bused to the terminal. Local authorities responded immediately and our maintenance team is currently inspecting the aircraft."

The flight had 174 passengers and six crew members onboard. No injuries were reported during the incident. The cause of the fire is under investigation.