Foul & fire flummoxed Florida flight

A Spirit Airlines flight from Atlantic City to Fort Lauderdale was delayed Saturday evening when it caught fire after a bird was sucked into the engine as the plane was taking off and 109 passengers and crew members were forced to evacuate the plane.

The plane was set to take off from Atlantic City International Airport just before 6 p.m., when the bird flew into the engine, causing the engine to catch fire, according to the airline.

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Photos and video show the flaming engine as the plane slows to a stop on the runway. Additional video shows passengers ushered off the plane via the inflatable emergency evacuation slide as crews work to extinguish the fire. No one on the plane was injured.

“Spirit Airlines flight 3044 from Atlantic City to Fort Lauderdale encountered what is believed to be a large bird while accelerating for takeoff in Atlantic City, which entered one of the plane’s engines,” said Spirit Airlines in a statement.

“The captain braked safely and brought the plane to a stop, received an indication of damage to the engine, and ordered an evacuation in accordance with our standard procedures,” said the statement.

“All Guests and Team Members evacuated the aircraft and were bused back to the terminal. We commend our crew for handling the situation swiftly and safely,” the statement said.

The passengers will receive full refunds, a future travel voucher and they were given the option of traveling to Fort Lauderdale on another plane Sunday, the airline said.

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