Spirit plane catches fire after hitting bird at New Jersey airport

Spirit Airlines plane catches fire after bird flies into one of its engines during take off

A Spirit Airlines flight caught fire after a bird flew into one of its engines during take off at the Atlantic City airport in New Jersey.

The incident took place on Saturday when flight 3044, bound for Fort Lauderdale, was forced to stop after accelerating on the runway.

A spokesperson for the airline said the plane stopped before leaving ground after a “large bird entered one of the plane’s engines.”

“The captain braked safely and brought the plane to a stop, received an indication of damage to the engine, and ordered an evacuation in accordance with our standard procedures,” the airline said, noting that the aircraft never left the ground.

Flames could be seen coming from the engine of the plane in a photo tweeted by @Medic6940, the Press of Atlantic City reported. The cabin of the plane never caught fire, the airline said.

Another video showed passengers leaving the plane through an inflatable slide out, usually deployed for emergency evacuations.

The fire was extinguished and the airplane was left on the runway pending an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration, the authority said.

Passengers were to receive full refunds along with a voucher for future travel and the option of continuing to Fort Lauderdale on another plane later Saturday, the airline said.