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A United Airlines flight was diverted back to Hawaii after the flames started on an aircraft engine.

UA 132 flight departed Sunday from Daniel K. Inouye Airport in Honolulu, heading for Majuro, the capital of the Marshall Islands, when an engine problem forced the plane to return to the flight in less than an hour.

Passenger recordings of local news channel KHON2 show sparks emanating from the Boeing 737-800. Josh Ley, who recorded the clip, told the outlet that the left wing "let fire and smoke flow from its spine like two spurs of fire".

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United Airlines and United Express prepare to launch at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. (Photo: David J. Phillip, AP)

In a statement to the US TODAY United Airlines confirmed that "the pilots worked swiftly to solve the (engine) problem and safely land the plane."

Airplanes are being retired and customers have been booked for other flights to get them to their final destination as soon as possible "United spokeswoman Maddie King added. "We apologize to our customers for this experience."

The flight, which takes five hours is completely over open water.

See also: Passenger accused of alleged sexual assault by the 19-year-old woman during the flight


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