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Spirit Airlines says New Jersey jet fire caused by ‘large bird’ flying into engine

Passengers were deplaned from a Spirit Airlines plane in New Jersey Saturday evening after a jet fire forced the pilots to abort takeoff.

A flight that was meant to take off from Atlantic City International Airport to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was accelerating when “what is believed to be a large bird” flew through the engine and caused the fire, Spirit Airlines said in a statement.

“The captain braked safely, received an indication of damage to the engine, and ordered an evacuation in accordance with our standard procedures,” the airline said. “All Guests and Team Members evacuated the aircraft and were bussed back to the terminal.”

Travelers were given a full refund and a travel voucher for future travel, with the option of flying on a later flight to Florida.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed the incident and said it was investigating the incident.

Video posted online by the Lakewood Scoop appeared to show passengers deplaning through an inflatable slide out of the plane door. The slides are deployed for emergency evacuations, as part of airline safety regulations.

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