The Utah Jazz’s team plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Salt Lake City on March 30 after a bird strike caused engine failure.
According to NBA.com, the Boeing 757-200 took off at around 1:15 p.m. and was headed for Memphis, where the players are expected to face off against the Memphis Grizzlies on March 31. But a team spokesman told the website a bird strike then caused an engine fire and the loss of an engine.
“Delta flight 8944 reportedly encountered a bird strike during takeoff from Salt Lake City Tuesday afternoon,” a Delta spokesperson told E! News. “As a precautionary measure, the crew shut down the impacted engine, declared an emergency and returned to the airport. The aircraft landed safely and taxied to the gate under its own power.”
NBA.com also confirmed the pilots turned back around and safely landed the aircraft. The team members reportedly boarded a different plane hours later and left for Memphis.
While the website noted the athletes were “shaken by the incident,” it also reported that “no one on the plane was harmed.”
After the emergency landing, several players, including guard Jordan Clarkson, tweeted praying hands emojis. Forward Royce O’Neale did the same and wrote, “GOD is good.” In addition, forward Jarrell Brantley posted on social media, “God up 1 forever.”