A National Transportation Safety Board official says a Spirit Airlines jet bound for Atlanta sustained an engine failure before safely returning to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
The official says it was an "uncontained" failure. That means broken pieces and parts of the engine escaped the outer engine housing, an unusual and especially serious occurrence.
The official spoke Wednesday on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly.
Aircraft engines are designed to contain any broken pieces within the engine during a failure.
Passengers aboard the Airbus A319 on Tuesday say they heard an explosion and saw flames come up the side of the plane, lighting up the interior. They reported that smoke filled the cabin.
Spirit spokeswoman Misty Pinson says no one on Flight 165 was injured.