Southwest flight returns to airport aboard after hitting birds

Dec. 24, 2013 at 1:02 PM

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- An airplane bound for Kansas City, Mo., was forced to return to the St. Louis airport after birds were sucked into one of the plane's engines, officials say.

None of the 102 passengers aboard the Southwest Airlines flight was injured, KTVI-TV, St. Louis, reported Monday.

"We heard a loud boom and smelled smoke," passenger Brian Dunn said. "The pilot said we had a bird strike and were going back to the airport."

The pilot shut down the engine on the right side of the plane after the strike and returned to the airport, Southwest officials said. Passengers had to return to the terminal to await a new plane and crew.

Passengers boarded another flight at 6:50 p.m. and arrived in Kansas City about 8:20 p.m.

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