FAA to order Boeing 777 inspections after engine disintegrated over Denver in harrowing flight

Agency chief Dickson says inspections could ground some jetliners temporarily.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Sunday prepared to order the emergency inspection of some Boeing 777 airplanes after a harrowing episode this weekend in which an engine exploded over Denver, forcing a jetliner to make an emergency landing and sending debris falling to earth.

The FAA said its Emergency Airworthiness Directive will require the "immediate or stepped-up inspections" of Boeing 777 jets equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines.

"This will likely mean that some airplanes will be removed from service," FAA Administrator Steve Dickson announced on Twitter.

The order follows an episode Saturday afternoon in which an engine aboard a United Airlines Boeing 777 exploded after taking off from Denver International Airport, scattering debris across norther n Colorado before make a safe emergency landing.