Spirit Airlines plane struck by bird during takeoff at New Jersey airport, sparking a fire

A Spirit Airlines flight leaving Atlantic City Airport on Saturday was aborted after officials say a large bird struck one of the plane’s engines and sparked a fire as it attempted to take off.

Flight 3044 from Atlantic City, New Jersey to Fort Lauderdale, Florida was forced to stop after accelerating on the runway after a large bird entered one of the planes engines” and sparked a fire, according to Fox 29 Philadelphia.

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The plane ultimately came to a full stop and was evacuated by officials.

The plane’s passengers were returned to the terminal and given a full refund as well as a travel voucher and the option to board another flight to Florida.

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“We’re closely monitoring an aircraft incident that happened tonight at @ACYAirport,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted Saturday evening. “All passengers and crew were successfully evacuated off the plane, and no serious injuries reported. The airport has reopened.”

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“The captain braked safely and brought the plane to a stop, received an indication of damage to the engine, and ordered an evacuation in accordance with our standard procedures,” Spirit said in a statement to The Press of Atlantic City, and added that the plane never left the ground. “We commend our crew for handling the situation swiftly and safely.”

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