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Lightning strikes plane, forces emergency landing

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • An airport official says no passengers were injured
  • Officials: The plane was flying from Wisconsin to Illinois when lightning struck
  • WREX: "There was a very loud crash noise, and a flash," one passenger says

(CNN) -- A passenger plane made an emergency landing at an airport outside Chicago Wednesday after lightning struck the aircraft, officials said.

The plane had a cracked windshield when it landed at Chicago Rockford International Airport around 10:30 a.m., said Jarek Beem, a spokesman for flight operator ExpressJet Airlines.

The aircraft was carrying 50 passengers on its flight from Madison, Wisconsin, to Chicago. None of the passengers were injured, said Franz Olson, deputy director of operations and facilities at the airport.

"I was just reading, and there was a very loud crash noise and a flash," passenger Nancy McCartan told CNN affiliate WREX.

Minutes later, a flight attendant announced the plane had been struck by lightning, she said, and the pilot said he was making an emergency landing because of the cracked windshield.

"He really assured us that everything was OK," she said.

CNN's Kara Devlin contributed to this report.