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Southwest Airlines jet lands safely at BWI after bird strike

Southwest Airlines Flight 3118 from San Antonio, Texas, declared an emergency after hitting a bird, and landed safely Friday night at Baltimore-Washington International airport.

A Southwest Airlines jet heading to the Washington area made an emergency landing at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport after being struck by a bird.

Authorities say Southwest Flight 3118 from San Antonio, Texas, landed safely Friday night. Anne Arundel County fire department officials say they were alerted about a plane in distress near Gibson Island in the Chesapeake Bay. The island is about 15 miles southeast of the airport.

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Some witnesses told WJZ-TV that they saw a burst of fire from the jet.

“It rumbled my house I know that much. She was low and she was on fire. She had flames coming from underneath and on the sides. She was burning. It sounded like a carburetor, a racing car misfiring, sputtering… that’s what it sound like and it rocked the house once she went over top,” Glenn Young said.

A private pilot, who lives in Pasadena, told WBAL-TV that he saw the plane as it approached BWI-Marshall and he heard a frightening noise.

The airline says the pilot declared an emergency and landed the plane safely. Southwest says the airliner was carrying 142 passengers and a crew of five.

The plane was taken out of service to be inspected.