CHICAGO (WLS) — A plane struck a bird as it took off from O’Hare International Airport Friday morning, aviation officials said.
United Flight #1930 was en route to Miami when it struck the bird shortly after takeoff, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said. The aircraft then returned to the airport and landed without incident at around 11.15
“I looked out the window and I saw the plane,” said witness Alison Doshen, “and you could see that one jet engine was on fire and the noise from it was extremely loud.”
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Doshen was at work in Elmhurst when she said she heard pops and cracks and saw flames shooting from the left engine.
“Instant panic and shock,” she said. “I couldn’t get to my phone to record anything because I couldn’t stop looking at it trying to figure out where it was going or where it came from. It was pretty scary to watch.”
Chris McCullough lives just south of the airport in Bensenville and also witnessed the engine fire.
“We heard this huge rumble. It just shook the house,” McCullough said. “It was already shooting out golden flames, alternating second by second. One second there would be a flame that would shoot out, then there would be a second where it wouldn’t, then it would reignite.”
United released a statement this afternoon which read quote:
“United Flight 1930 returned to Chicago after experiencing a bird strike shortly after take-off. The aircraft landed safely and passengers deplaned at the gate. We have designated a new aircraft to operate this flight, which is expected to depart shortly.”
Witnesses were just thankful that the crew and passengers are safe.
“It was a shock to see, I’ve never seen anything like this before, but I’m glad everyone on board is safe,” Goshen said.
“They not only helped those passengers, but they helped the people on the ground when they got that plane back safely,” McCullough said.
The FAA said it is investigating the incident. No injuries have been reported.
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