Emergency landing: Southwest Airlines jet's engine in flames

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Al Oshiro says he heard explosions and saw flames coming from the jet as he arrived at work and was getting out of his vehicle.

The passengers on-board a Southwest Airline flight had alarming moments when flames appeared from one of its engines.

A Southwest Airlines 737 airplane departs Ronald Reagan National Airport had to return to Salt Lake City shortly after takeoff. "I kinda looked over and saw the look on my husband's face, and I knew right away that this wasn't normal".

Traci Scarce and her two daughters, all of whom were in the plane, told ABC News they heard loud popping sounds before the aircraft began to shake and the lights inside the cabin began to flicker. "It sounded like there was a stalling engine".

'That's the best way I can describe it. Saw balls of fire and it got pretty tense for a few minutes'.

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Southwest said the passengers on the flight were swapped into a new aircraft and continued to Los Angeles, according to KUTV in Salt Lake City.

All 110 passengers and five crew members on board the Boeing 737 landed safely and emergency crews waiting on the tarmac did not need to take any action.

"We apologize for the inconvenience, but safety is always our top priority at Southwest Airlines", according to the statement.

Southwest told KTVX that the explosion was a "performance issue" and said pilots followed "established protocol and procedures" to perform an "uneventful landing".

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