Arsenal have released an official statement confirming their women football team returned home safely on Monday morning after one of their plane engines burst into flames.
The team were returning to London following their first-leg Champions League semifinal in Wolfsburg when a bird flew into the engine on Sunday evening and it burst into flames.
The Maltese airline plane made a loud bang just before taking off on Sunday, reports German newspaper BILD.
Arsenal women team were travelling back to north London after a 2-2 draw against the Fraun-Bundelisga reigning champions VfL Wolfsburg at the Volkswagen Stadium when the incident happened.
Photos from the scene show flames shooting from the engine on the Boeing 737, which was carrying the team on the runway at Germany’s Braunschweig Wolfsburg Airport.
Passengers were quickly evacuated after the the plane was pulled up by pilots.
An airport spokesman told BILD a bird strike on the engine had caused the fire. The airport official added that nobody was hurt during the incident.
The statement released by the English club read: “Our aircraft developed a technical issue prior to take-off in Germany on Sunday evening.
“As a result, 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.”
The Arsenal team and staff were put up in a nearby hotel for the night before they were safely flown to London on a replacement plane on Monday.
The airport is jointly owned by the car manufacturer Volkswagen Group which is based in Wolfsburg.
The company uses the airfield as the home base for their own airline fleet operated under the Volkswagen Air Services brand.