Pilots were able to land the plane safely without incident.
(DAILY REUTERS) Players and staff of NBA team Utah Jazz were left “shaken, but unharmed” afterward a bird strike forced the plane they were on to make an emergency landing on Tuesday.
The travel party had been heading to the team’s next game against the Memphis Grizzlies on a chartered flight but, just minutes into the journey, the decision was made to turn back for Salt Lake City Airport.
A statement on the Utah Jazz website said the bird strike had caused a fire in at least one of the engines.
Pilots were able to land the Boeing 757-200 without incident despite engine failure, according to the team.
“Players were clearly shaken by the incident and quickly took to social media upon landing. But no one on the plane was harmed,” read a team Statement.
Hours later than scheduled, the team was eventually able to board a different plane and departed safely for Memphis.
Damage could be seen to one of the plane’s engines.
Following the incident, star Rudy Gobert posted a message on social media saying: “It’s a beautiful day!”
Teammates Jordan Clarkson and Donovan Mitchell also both posted a praying emoji whilst forward Royce O’Neale wrote: “GOD is good.”
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there was an estimated 17,228 wildlife strikes at 753 US airports in 2019. From 1988 to 2019, there were 292 fatalities attributed to wildlife strikes around the world.