Spirit Airlines Engine Failure and Fire Stoke Fear

The plane landed safely, prompting applause from the passengers.
2:07 | 10/17/13

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Transcript for Spirit Airlines Engine Failure and Fire Stoke Fear
new details this morning on that scare on a spirit airlines flight from dallas to atlanta. The plane forced to make an emergency landing after an explosion and fireball engulfed part of the plane. Federal investigators are now saying it was an uncontained engine failure. Abc's david kerley is at dulles international airport with the very latest on this. Good morning, david. Reporter: Good morning, elizabeth. It's a scary time, not just for the passengers but for the pilots, too, when an engine explodes. This morning, new details on what happened to that spirit airlines jet. It was an emergency at 20,000 feet. Spirit airlines flight 361 from dallas to atlanta. Are you having any instrument difficulties? Yes. Reporter: It was just a few minutes into the flight when the passengers felt and heard an explosion, coming from the plane's left engine. When the engine actually blew up, and the fireball went by us and all that, the plane started shaking violently. Reporter: In that passenger compartment, smoke started filling the cabin. Some of the passengers texting their last messages to loved ones. People were starting to scream and panic and cry. It was a situation where nobody really knew what was going on. Reporter: Investigators say the plane experienced an uncontained engine failure. The engine actually blew up, similar to what happened to this plane in a youtube video. Engines are designed when something goes wrong and breaks, the engine breaks in a contained manner. But the spirit engine, failed in an uncontained matter. They spray out like bullets, frankly. And occasionally they do. But they can actually penetrate the cabin and cause depressurization. Reporter: A small team is on the scene to see if there was damage to the aircraft. And they had descend and call back from furlough, some experts on black boxes. Going to turn to new details

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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