Plane Carrying Arsenal Women's Team Bursts Into Flames On Runway Before Take-Off

An airport spokesman said that a bird strike had caused the engine fire.

A plane that was to carry the Arsenal women's team back to London following their Champions League draw with Wolfsburg burst into flames on the runway. According to Metro, the incident occurred on Sunday evening at Germany's Braunschweig Wolfsburg Airport shortly before a Boeing 737 was due to take off.

An airport spokesman told the German newspaper Bild that a bird strike had caused the engine fire. Witnesses said that they heard a loud bang, following which the plane was stopped. Flames were spotted coming out of the plane, forcing the pilots to abandon take-off.

Fortunately, all passengers were evacuated and no one was hurt in the incident. However, the team was forced to stay in a hotel in Germany for an extra night owing to the mishap.

Later, Arsenal released a statement confirming the team returned home safely on Monday on a replacement plane.

The statement read, ''Our aircraft developed a technical issue prior to take-off in Germany on Sunday evening. We remained in Wolfsburg overnight on Sunday before flying back to England on Monday afternoon. We would like to thank the staff onboard the aircraft and on the ground at the airport for their assistance.''

Wolfsburg is due to face Arsenal again in their Champions League semi-final on May 1.

A similar incident was reported on Sunday when an American Airlines plane was forced to return to Ohio airport after a bird strike sparked an engine fire. A video going viral on social media showed the plane returning to John Glenn International Airport in Columbus as flames and smoke are seen coming from the right engine.