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Eagle in engine forces Alaska Airlines pilot to abort takeoff

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • The eagle was sucked into the Boeing 737's left engine, shutting it down
  • The pilot stopped the plane halfway down the runway
  • No one aboard was injured

(CNN) -- An Alaska Airlines flight was forced to abort takeoff Sunday in Sitka, Alaska, after an eagle was sucked into one of its engines, a spokesman for the airline said.

The pilot of Flight 68 saw the eagle flying near the Boeing 737 as final preparations were being made for takeoff, Alaska Airlines spokesman Paul McElroy told CNN. The eagle was sucked into the aircraft's left engine shortly thereafter, shutting it down automatically, McElroy said.

The pilot was able to bring the plane to a stop halfway down the runway, and the aircraft never left the ground, McElroy said.

None of the 134 passengers and five crew members aboard was injured, he said.

A replacement plane was being brought in to take the passengers on their scheduled flight from Sitka, Alaska, to Seattle, Washington.

CNN's Chuck Johnston contributed to this report.