In Broomfield, distressed airplane and falling parts attract crowds and strange reactions

A neighborhood sealed off on a Sunday afternoon is unusual in Broomfield. So is having airplane parts land on lawns and lots.

A Boeing 777 headed for Hawaii was forced to make an emergency landing Saturday, spewing debris across the neighborhood of Northmoor.

“Were we under attack?”

That’s what Mary Ellen Sucato thought when she heard loud booms. The 81-year-old was upstairs as airplane parts rained over her neighborhood. She was able to laugh about it when she realized what had happened. Across the street from her Elmwood Street home was a towering 20-foot circular object that was in front of Kirby Klements’ door.

“At first I thought it was part of a UFO,” Sucato said.

Klements was with his wife inside his home when he heard a loud bang. The couple looked at each other, trying to figure out what happened, he said. Outside, the “UFO” had crashed into his front window. Klements’ truck also sustained damage.

“First, I thought it was debris from a trampoline from my neighbor’s yard,” he said. “Came out and knew right away that it was the front of an engine of an airplane.

“There was a lot of debris raining from the sky.”

— kieran nicholson (@kierannicholson) February 20, 2021

Emergency responders, including police, ambulances and fire crews, quickly poured into the neighborhood around 1 p.m. Sirens and lights replaced the booms, Sucato said, and “people were running everywhere.”

Hundreds of people converged on Northmoor, where debris landed in the vicinity of East 13th Avenue and Elmwood Avenue. Parts dotted the area all over, and so were onlookers. Police officers

A woman driving in the area with her window down yelled out at the crowd, “A plane caught on fire? That’s wild!” she said.

Sucato said in the nearly 50 years she had lived on Elmwood Avenue, she has never seen something like this before.

“It shook the house a little bit”

Elsewhere in Northmoor, Cindy and John Basile reacted differently as the commercial jet hovered over their home.

“I heard a loud boom, and it shook the house a little bit,” John Basile said as he described his experience. He initially thought that someone’s water heater had blown up. However, he also remembered hearing a plane flying overhead.

“But I didn’t put two and two together,” he said.

Cindy Basile, meanwhile, immediately looked for John inside their home to make sure he was OK. The couple left their home to find the neighborhood littered with airplane debris.

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