Details remain scarce Tuesday night, but Southwest Airlines is reporting that one of its Boeing 737 Max airliners suffered serious bird-strike damage Sunday (March 4) after takeoff from Havana, Cuba, on a flight destined for Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The crew made a successful emergency landing back at Havana with no serious injuries, according to Southwest.
Southwest said in a statement that the Boeing “experienced bird strikes to an engine and the aircraft’s nose shortly after takeoff.” Passenger videos circulating online showed the cabin of Flight 3923 filled with smoke and panic among passengers during the emergency landing. Passenger Marco Antonio told NBC News, “Nobody could breathe … It was burning so much in the lungs. People were just screaming.” All 147 passengers and six crew members evacuated the aircraft safely via emergency slides.
“The customers and crew were bused to the terminal upon arrival yesterday where medical staff assessed some minor injuries,” Southwest reported. The emergency landing occurred around noon on Sunday, local time. Southwest said it had issued refunds to passengers and as of Monday was working on providing them with alternative flights to their destination and assessing the damage to the aircraft.
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