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Arsenal plane catches fire on runway after Champions League semifinal

Arsenal's Lotte Wubben-Moy warms up prior to the team's Champions League semifinal against Wolfsburg. (Martin Rose/Getty Images)

Arsenal were delayed returning from their Champions League semifinal Sunday after their plane burst into flames on the runway at the Braunschweig Wolfsburg Airport in Germany.

Following a 2-2 semifinal draw against Wolfsburg, the Arsenal women’s team was traveling home to England when a bird reportedly flew into the left engine of the team plane during takeoff, causing the fire. The takeoff was halted and the players and support staff were evacuated, the Telegraph reported Monday.

“Our aircraft developed a technical issue prior to take-off in Germany on Sunday evening,” Arsenal said in a statement. “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.”

No one was injured in the incident. The team spent the night in a local hotel and flew back to London on Monday.

The second leg of the Champions League semifinal will be played Monday at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium. A crowd of nearly 50,000 is expected for the match.