Korean Air Pilot Dumps Fuel, Makes Emergency Landing at DFW

Korean Airlines Flight 32 headed for Seoul, South Korea out of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport had to make an emergency landing shortly after takeoff Sunday afternoon.

The Boeing 777 had only recently departed DFW Airport when, shortly before noon, pilots discovered a problem and radioed to controllers that they needed to return.

Investigators have not yet said what specifically led the pilots to declare the emergency, but initial reports indicate the aircraft lost one of its engines.

"It's like a 'crung' sound, and we wonder what's going on," said passenger, Wendy Shan. "We think the flight is really fast back to Korea and then we are here."

"They said, 'Please keep calm,'" said passenger John Hollrah.

"Yeah, that was the one thing I didn't want to hear was, 'Everyone please remain calm.' I didn't want to hear that," passenger Tim West continued.

The Dallas Morning News is reporting both a former staffer and a current local television reporter were onboard the flight and that they tweeted about an engine failure shortly after takeoff.

According to airport officials, the plane landed safely about 40 minutes after the alert after the pilot circled and dumped fuel over Tarrant County.

David Magana, with the airport, said the aircraft was inspected upon landing and it was determined that nothing catastrophic had occurred.  Magana said it will now be up to mechanics to determine the exact issue with the aircraft.

Magana also said that as airport officials learned of the emergency, an Alert 3 was issued, which indicated something catastrophic has happened.  Magana said operators quickly realized the wrong alert status was activated and changed the call to an Alert 2, which indicates there is a potential problem with an aircraft.

Due to the initial Alert 3 call, all runways were closed at DFW Airport for a short time.

None of the 223 passengers on board were injured.

NBC 5's Ray Villeda contributed to this report.

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