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A United flight makes an emergency landing in Houston due to a possible engine fire

A United Airlines flight that left Houston for Rio de Janeiro reversed course Tuesday night, and eventually made an emergency landing at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport after one of the plane’s engines caught fire, officials said.

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that United Airlines Flight 129 landed safely after the crew reported a possible fire in the left engine around 9:20 p.m. local time Tuesday. United described it as a “mechanical problem” and said the Boeing 767 returned to Houston shortly after takeoff.

In an air traffic control audiotape obtained by CBS News on Wednesday, a SkyWest pilot can be heard communicating with a control tower as he talks about “flames departing ahead of us,” which the tower identified as United Flight 129. The Sky pilot described West position. Such as “a fire in the left engine”, which rendered the engine inoperable. The United pilot then confirmed that the flight crew had declared an emergency and that the plane would return.

The flight initially departed from Houston Airport at 8:52 p.m. Tuesday night and landed at the same airport two hours later, at 10:50 p.m., according to the tracking website. FlightAware.

“The aircraft has landed safely and passengers have been disembarked at the gate. We are making arrangements to transport our customers to their destination,” United said in a statement.

There were no reports of hospitalizations or injuries in connection with the incident. The FAA said it would investigate.

CBS News has contacted Houston fire authorities for more information.

Due to a series of recent safety incidents, incl close calls Among planes on runways across the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration held its first safety summit in 14 years earlier this month. At a time summitThat brought a team of flight personnel together to discuss what might be causing the wave of near collisions, among other incidents. At least seven close calls have been reported this year.

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