Arsenal Women team plane bursts into flames on runway as pilots forced to abandon take-off
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A plane carrying the Arsenal women's team back to the UK after their Champions League match against Wolfsburg burst into flames on the runway, forcing the pilots to abandon take-off.
Arsenal had looked on course for a defeat in Germany after Ewa Pajor and Sveindis Jane Jonsdottir gave the German side a two-goal lead.
But the Gunners hit back through Rafaelle Souza and Stina Blackstenius to leave the tie finely poised ahead of the second-leg in London.
A witness has claimed that the plane made a loud bang before it was due to take off at 7.30pm local time.
Flames were spotted coming out of the plane, forcing the pilots to abandon take-off and evacuate all passengers.
Thankfully, no one was hurt in the incident and the Arsenal squad were able to travel back to London on Monday.
The technical issue has since been blamed on a bird flying into the plane's engine shortly before it was due to take flight.
Arsenal have confirmed no one was injured and have thanked staff at Wolfsburg's Braunschweig Airport for their assistance.
"Our aircraft developed a technical issue prior to take-off in Germany on Sunday evening," read a club statement.
"As a result, we remained in Wolfsburg overnight on Sunday before flying back to England on Monday afternoon. We would like to thank the staff onboard the aircraft and on the ground at the airport for their assistance."
Jonas Eidevall's side return to action on Monday in the return leg against Wolfsburg.
Arsenal have already sold close to 50,000 tickets for the match at the Emirates and are hopeful it will be a sell-out.
The winners will go on to play either Barcelona or Chelsea in the final on June 3.