(CNN) A Southwest Airlines flight bound for Fort Lauderdale was forced to return to Havana, Cuba, on Sunday morning after reportedly experiencing bird strikes, the airline says.
In a statement to CNN Sunday, Southwest said the plane was involved in bird strikes.
“Southwest Flight #3923 departing Havana, Cuba, for Fort Lauderdale, Florida, reportedly suffered bird strikes on an engine and aircraft nose shortly after takeoff on Sunday morning,” the statement said. “The pilots returned safely to Havana, where customers evacuated the aircraft via chutes due to smoke sightings in the cabin.”
Passengers and crew then took a bus to the terminal and arrangements were made for the flight to Fort Lauderdale, Southwest said.
“We commend the prompt, professional actions of our pilots and flight attendants in responding to this event. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and have reached out to address their needs and provide support,” Southwest said in the statement. .
Cuba’s state media Radio Rebelde said the plane “discovered malfunctions in one of its engines during takeoff,” citing Cuban Aviation Corporation SA.
After the plane was cleared to land back in Havana, the passengers were evacuated and were in “good condition,” Radio Rebelde said.
“CACSA indicated that the causes of the said event are under investigation and stressed that the airport facility is currently maintaining its regular operations,” said Radio Rebelde.
When asked about the reported engine failures, a Southwest spokesperson told CNN that the company will “assess the aircraft to assess the damage, but has no additional details to share at this time.”