Bird strike forces Bournemouth plane to make emergency landing

Thomson Airways plane Image copyright Eric Jackson
Image caption The aircraft was able to land safely at Gatwick, the airline said

A plane made an emergency landing at Gatwick Airport after a bird damaged an engine when it took off from Bournemouth.

Flight TOM6248, which was bound for Tenerife, struck a seagull shortly after taking off at 08:21 GMT.

Passengers described a loud thud from the left engine and the plane vibrating.

A Thomson Airways spokeswoman said: "We would like to reassure customers that issues of this nature are very rare."

The passengers were taken off the plane and put on a replacement flight to Tenerife which departed shortly before 13:00.

Image copyright Eric Jackson
Image caption After the plane landed at Gatwick, the pilot showed some passengers feathers recovered from the damaged the engine
Image copyright Eric Jackson
Image caption Thomson Airways said passengers would be transferred to another airplane

Passenger Eric Jackson said: "There was a loud thud and noticeable vibrations. They decided there would be more engineers and help available at Gatwick so we diverted.

"Everybody was pretty calm. People were more worried when we landed at Gatwick because it was a full-on emergency landing - they chased us down the runway with 12 fire engines so that was a little bit nerve-wracking.

"The pilot came on with the remnants of the bird and showed it to us. There wasn't an awful lot left of it. It had shattered three of the blades so the engine was irreparable."

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