A Southwest Airlines flight from Ft. Returned to Havana after Bird Attack en route to Lauderdale

(CNN) — A Fort Lauderdale-bound Southwest Airlines flight was forced to return to Havana Sunday morning after a bird strike, the airline says.

In a statement to CNN on Sunday, Southwest said the flight was hit by a bird.

Southwest flight #3923 from Havana, Cuba to Fort Lauderdale Sunday morning was reportedly hit by a bird in the engine and nose shortly after takeoff. “The pilots returned safely to Havana, where passengers found smoke in the cabin and exited the plane through the slides.”

Passengers and crew then took a bus to the terminal and flight arrangements were made to Fort Lauderdale, according to Southwest.

“We appreciate the prompt and professional actions of our pilots and flight attendants in responding to this incident. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and are here to address their needs and provide support,” Southwest said in a statement.

Cuba’s state media, Radio Rebelde, cited Corporación de Aviación de Cuba SA as saying that the plane had detected a malfunction in one of its engines during takeoff.

When the plane was allowed to land back in Havana, the passengers were evacuated and were in “good condition,” Radio Rebelt said.

“CACSA stressed that the cause of the incident is being investigated and that the airport facility is maintaining its normal operations at this time,” Radio Rebel said.

When asked about the engine failure, a Southwest spokeswoman told CNN that “the aircraft will be reviewed to assess the damage, but there are no additional details to share at this time.”

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Eden Hayes

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