Miami News

Southwest Airlines bird strike causes emergency landing in Cuba

The Southwest Airlines plane was filled with smoke after a bird attack.

While Miami’s airports continue to implement safety measures, there’s still much to be done in the rest of South Florida. On Sunday, horrific circumstances befell the passengers and crew aboard a Southwest Airlines aircraft bound for Fort Lauderdale. According to reports, a bird attack caused an engine fire on a plane leaving Havana for Fort Lauderdale on Sunday, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing back at Cuba's Jose Marti Airport.

What follows are further details about the incident:

How it happened

According to the Cuban Aviation Company S.A., the country's civil aviation body, the pilots noticed a problem with the plane's engine after the bird hit. The plane was filled with smoke, and a video shot inside shows people covering their faces with breathing masks that had fallen from the ceiling. Initially, the airline denied there was an issue with the engines. At Cuba's main airport, passengers were seen exiting the plane through evacuation slides while fire engines and emergency personnel stood by.

Southwest Airlines ticket desk

Passengers landed safely

A representative for Southwest Airlines claimed that the pilots successfully landed the plane in Havana and that passengers used slides to exit the plane after the smoke inside didn't seem to stop. After that, they took a bus to the airport terminal, where they hoped to be put on another plane to Fort Lauderdale.

Cuba's aviation regulator has reported that everyone on board the aircraft is safe and sound. An investigation into the incident's root cause is underway.

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