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Southwest flight makes emergency landing in Nashville after striking bird

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Southwest Airlines flight made an emergency landing after it struck a bird Wednesday morning.

The airline said in a statement that the pilot of Flight 577 from Nashville to Phoenix declared an emergency after the bird strike Wednesday morning and safely landed the plane at Nashville International Airport. No injuries were reported.

Southwest said the aircraft has been taken out of service for maintenance and local employees are working to get passengers on a new flight.

“Southwest Airlines flight 577 departing Nashville (BNA) to Phoenix (PHX) experienced a bird strike shortly after takeoff. The Captain in command declared an emergency and safely landed the flight back at BNA. The aircraft has been taken out of service for maintenance review. Our local Nashville Employees are working diligently to accommodate those passengers on the continuation of this flight on a new aircraft. The passengers will arrive to Phoenix approximately two hours behind,” a spokesperson for Southwest Airlines said.

The emergency landing happened a day after a woman was killed after a damaged Southwest plane traveling from LaGuardia Airport landed in Philadelphia.

The dead woman was identified as Jennifer Riordan, a Wells Fargo bank executive and mother of two from Albuquerque, New Mexico. The seven other victims suffered minor injuries.

The plane scheduled to travel to Dallas with 149 people aboard showed evidence of “metal fatigue,” according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

In a late night news conference, NTSB chairman Robert Sumwalt said one of the engine’s fan blades was separated and missing. The blade was separated at the point where it would come into the hub and there was evidence of metal fatigue, Sumwalt said.

The engine will be examined further to understand what caused the failure. The investigation is expected to take 12 to 15 months.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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