Utah Jazz basketball team’s plane makes emergency landing after hitting bird

A jet carrying players from the Utah Jazzbasketball team, was forced to make an emergency landing after it struck a bird.

Reports said a Delta Boeing jet had taken off from Salt Lake City and was on its way to Memphis, Tennessee, when it hit the bird, or several.

As a result, the plane was forced to return to Salt Lake City and make an emergency landing, with fire crews escorting the plane down the runway.

There were no reports of anyone being hurt in the incident.

However, a number of players, including guard Donovan Mitchell, posted prayer emojis, on their social media feeds.

Delta Airlines said the company was trying to locate another plane to fly the team to Memphis, for its game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.

“As the aircraft was taking off it hit a flock of birds. The left engine was shut down, the pilot declared an emergency in return to Salt Lake International Airport,” the company told TMZ.

“Aircraft landed without incident and was able to taxi back.”

The Salt Lake Tribune said a team spokesperson had confirmed that players had returned “safely back”, after birds struck the plane, and hit the left engine of  Delta Flight 8944.

It said images of the plane show severe cracking, and blood, on the nosecone, and some panels torn away from the left engine.

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