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Utah Jazz players feared for their lives after plane collides with birds

A charter plane, carrying National Basketball Association (NBA) side Utah Jazz, collided with a flock of birds after takeoff on Tuesday, causing an engine fire and failure before an emergency landing.

Utah Jazz players feared for their lives after plane collides with birds

The travelling party had been heading towards the team's game against the Memphis Grizzlies but just minutes into the journey, a decision was made to turn back for Salt Lake City Airport.

According to the team, pilots were able to safely land the Boeing 757-200 without incident despite the engine failing.

"Players were clearly shaken by the incident and quickly took to social media upon landing. But no one on the plane was harmed," read a team statement.

Later than scheduled, the team were able to board another plane and departed safely for Memphis.

"For a good 10-15 minutes, I think all of us on that flight were questioning whether we were going to be here today," started Jazz guard Mike Conley. "That’s how serious it was for us. I can’t speak for everybody. But I know guys were trying to text family just in case. It was that kind of situation."

Jazz coach Quin Snyder added: “I don’t know that an experience like that is just suddenly passed on and away.

"Everybody is impacted in different ways, all very significant. It wasn’t something we were going to solve by just talking through everything. But I think it was important to acknowledge what we all went through."

Author: Jake Wilkin