- Arsenal women’s team was due to fly back from Germany on Sunday evening
- Their plane burst into flames on the runway and the team was evacuated
- They remained in Germany on Sunday night and flew back to London on Monday
A plane carrying the Arsenal women’s team back from their Champions League semi-final first leg with Wolfsburg burst into flames on the runway on Sunday evening.
The incident occurred at the Braunschweig Wolfsburg Airport after a bird flew into the engine shortly before it was due to take off, causing a loud bang.
Flames immediately started to come out of the left engine of the Boeing 737, and the pilots on board quickly evacuated the passengers, including Arsenal’s first team squad, to safety.
Arsenal has released a statement confirming they returned home safely this morning.
The statement read: ‘Our aircraft developed a technical issue prior to take-off in Germany on Sunday evening.
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.’
The team used a Maltese airline to fly to Germany on Saturday and were due to fly back with the same airline the following evening.
However, after the engine caught fire, they were forced to switch to a replacement airline to get back to England on Monday morning.
Following their return from Germany, Arsenal can now look forward to trying to seal their place in this year’s Champions League final after fighting back to earn a 2-2 draw in Sunday’s first leg.
The Gunners got off to the worst possible start as they fell two goals behind their German opponents within 24 minutes.
However, Rafaelle Souza pulled a goal back for the visitors on the stroke of halftime, and Arsenal made it 2-2 through Stina Blackstenius with 21 minutes remaining.
Arsenal’s comeback was a positive response after a difficult week that saw the side beaten by Manchester United in the league, in a game that saw Leah Williamson pick up a long-term knee injury that has ruled her out of the World Cup.
The return leg against Wolfsburg takes place next Monday at the Emirates Stadium.
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