The Arsenal women's football team survived a major scare on Monday as the plane they were returning home in caught fire in one of its engines due to a bird-hit, according to media reports.
The Boeing 737 suffered the bird-hit shortly after taking off from the Braunschweig Wolfsburg Airport in Germany, causing a loud bang.
The left engine caught fire immediately and the plane had to land back at the airport. The pilots on board quickly evacuated the passengers, including Arsenal's first team squad, to safety.
"Our aircraft developed a technical issue prior to take-off in Germany on Sunday evening.
"As a result, we remained in Wolfsburg overnight on Sunday before flying back to England on Monday afternoon.
"We would like to thank the staff onboard the aircraft and on the ground at the airport for their assistance," Arsenal said in a statement.
The team was returning home after their 2-2 draw against Wolfsburg in the Champions League semi-final first-leg.
Airport officials confirmed that nobody was hurt during the incident. The team and Arsenal staff were put up in a nearby hotel.
They were then flown back to London today on a replacement plane.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)