Midair engine emergency after takeoff

A United Airlines flight from New Jersey to California was forced to make an emergency landing at Newark Liberty International Airport after an apparent engine fire.
1:10 | 01/17/20

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Transcript for Midair engine emergency after takeoff
Now, to the midair emergency just after takeoff from Newark, airport. A united airlines flight bound for L.A., the loud bangs, the cabin shaking and flames shooting from the engine. David Kerley covers aviation. Reporter: The frightening flames right outside the united jetliner soon after takeoff from Newark. Passengers could also hear and feel the trouble coming from the engine. Suddenly it felt like being shot at. It was like, pow, pow, pow. There were four or five of the loudest bangs I had ever heard. Loud, shaking the whole plane. Reporter: The pilots of the 757 with 174 onboard quickly decided to return. We may have just had a compressor stall on the right engine here. We have declared an emergency. Reporter: What the pilots described is a compressor stall, in essence, a jet engine backfire ig, which is alarming. It was very scary. Even the flight attendants -- you can see when they're nervous. Reporter: Nerve-racking, indeed, as we've seen in previous cases, like this 777 flight back in November, a father catching the compressor stall and his young daughter's reaction. The Newark to Los Angeles flight did land safely, with united confirming it was an engine issue. David? David, thank you. When we come back, the rotc

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

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