Last updated: 04:48 PM ET, Mon November 14 2016

Airplane Strikes Flock of Storks in Gambia

Airlines & Airports | Donald Wood | November 14, 2016

Airplane Strikes Flock of Storks in Gambia

Photo: A Thomas Cook airplane. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Last week, a Thomas Cook Airlines plane was forced to make an emergency landing after the aircraft struck a flock of “50 storks” shortly after takeoff.

According to Metro, the Thomas Cook Airlines flight had just taken off from Banjul International Airport in Gambia when the Airbus A321 flew right into the path of a flock of birds.

Reports claim at least 13 of the birds were sucked into the engines, forcing the pilot to call for an emergency landing back at Banjul International Airport. Once safely on the ground, it was discovered that the blades of the engines had been bent and splattered with blood.

One of the flight attendants on the plane—identified as Kayleigh Loveridge from Berkshire—reported that the pilot was forced to shut down one of the engines of the plane while attempting to make the emergency landing in Gambia.

“Tuesday 8th November was not a typical day in the office, we took off, and on our climb we went through a flock of approximately 50 storks, causing a bird strike to both engines,” Loveridge said in a statement. “Meaning that both engines were damaged and not functioning the way they should have. We heard big bangs, felt the entire aircraft shake, shortly followed by one of our emergency commands from the flight deck.”

Images from the bird strike were shared on Twitter (WARNING: Graphic Images):

“The pilots and cabin crew responded extremely professionally according to their training and the aircraft returned safely to Banjulm,” a Thomas Cook spokesperson told Metro. “The customers were accommodated overnight and flown home on a different plane the following morning, while the damaged aircraft was repaired and arrived back in the UK last night.”

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