Aussie among NBA stars ‘shaken’ after plane engine catches fire mid-flight

A charter flight carrying NBA team the Utah Jazz was forced to make an emergency landing after the plane flew into a flock of birds.

The Boeing 757 returned to Salt Lake City airport on Tuesday afternoon local time after an engine caught fire shortly after takeoff.

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“A Utah Jazz team charter flight was forced to safely return to the Salt Lake City airport this afternoon after striking a flock of birds that caused an engine fire and failure,” the Jazz said in a statement.

Players were “shaken” by the incident, but no injuries were reported.

“Fortunately the plane landed safely,” a Jazz representative told USA Today. “Everybody is shaken, but they’re OK.”

Australian veteran Joe Ingles was among the passengers on the flight.

The plane after touching back down in Salt Lake City. Image: Twitter/@brian_schneeSource:Twitter

The plane struck a flock of birds.Source:Twitter

Delta Airlines said in a statement to Fox 13: “As the aircraft was taking off it hit a flock of birds.

“The left engine was shut down, the pilot declared an emergency in return to Salt Lake International Airport.

“Aircraft landed without incident and was able to taxi back.

“Delta Airlines is working on finding another aircraft to get their customers to their destinations.”

Several Jazz players expressed their gratitude on social media after touching down in Salt Lake City.

GOD is good 🙏🏾🙏🏾


It’s a beautiful day!

The Jazz were travelling to Memphis, Tennessee ahead of Wednesday evening’s NBA game against the Grizzlies.

The team departed for Memphis once again later that evening on a separate plane.

The official Memphis Grizzlies Twitter account posted: “Safe travels.”

Earlier this week, Frenchman Rudy Gobert had 18 points and 17 rebounds as the Jazz improved their season record to 35-11 with a 114-75 thrashing of Cleveland.

Donovan Mitchell had 19 points and Mike Conley added 18 for the Jazz, whose win streak stretched to five games.

— with AFP

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