A Southwest Airlines flight en route from Nashville to Phoenix was forced to make an emergency landing after the plane struck a bird mid-flight, a Southwest spokesperson said on Wednesday. The plane, flight 577, returned safely to Nashville’s airport and no passengers were injured.
According to the spokesperson, “The captain in command declared an emergency and safely landed the flight.”
“We’ve confirmed flight 577 departing Nashville (BNA) experienced a bird strike shortly after takeoff,” the airline said in a statement to CBS News. “The Captain in command safely returned the flight to BNA. The aircraft will be taken out of service for maintenance review. Our local Nashville Employees are working diligently to accommodate those passengers on to their destination.”
The incident comes one day after one of the engines exploded on another Southwest flight traveling from New York to Dallas. A piece of shrapnel from the blast broke one of the plane’s windows, depressurizing the cabin and causing a woman to be partially sucked out of the plane. The passenger, who has since been identified as mother-of-two and bank executive Jennifer Riordan, has died, according to the Associated Press.
Seven other passengers were injured in the accident and treated on site.
In a video message shared on Tuesday, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly expressed his condolences to the family and friends of Riordan.
“On behalf of the Southwest family, I want to extend my deepest sympathies for the family and the loved ones of our deceased customer,” Kelly said. “They are our immediate and primary concern and we Weill do all that we can to support them during this difficult time.”