An American Airlines flight headed to Phoenix on Sunday morning was rerouted back to its departure airport in Columbus, Ohio after the plane engine reportedly caught fire, officials said.
According to authorities, a bird hit the engine and caused the tragedy.
No one was injured, and the plane landed safely at John Glenn Columbus International Airport after 8 a.m. local time, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement to CBS News. The agency is investigating the incident.
The plane, a Boeing 737 commercial jet, returned to the airport on Sunday about 30 minutes after its initial takeoff at around 7:45 a.m., according to the tracking site FlightAware. It was traveling to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and flying over Upper Arlington, another Ohio city roughly five miles outside of Columbus, when it started to turn back, CBS affiliate WBNS reported.
John Glenn International Airport acknowledged the incident on Twitter.
“Emergency crews responded to an aircraft incident at CMH this morning involving a reported engine fire,” the airport wrote in a tweet. “The aircraft landed safely and the airport is open and operational.”
“Emergency crews responded to an aircraft incident at CMH this morning involving a reported engine fire. The aircraft landed safely and the airport is open and operational,” John Glenn Columbus International Airport said in a statement posted on Twitter.
— CBS 58 News (@CBS58) April 24, 2023
On the flight, Ryan Brink recorded a video through one of the plane windows that seemed to show sparks coming from the right engine. He posted the video to Facebook and several photos of the plane, which appeared to have blood spattered across one side.
“Damn you, geese!” Brink captioned the Facebook post. “First time seeing a fire and being involved in an emergency landing!”
In a statement to CBS News, American Airlines did not disclose information about what caused the emergency landing, but did blame it on “a mechanical issue.”
“The flight landed normally and taxied safely to the gate under its own power,” according to the airline. “The aircraft was taken out of service for maintenance, and our team is working to re-route customers to PHX.” Our first goal is safety, and we appreciate our clients’ patience.”
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