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No injuries after airliner hits deer at Charlotte International

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An American Airlines flight leaving Charlotte hit a deer while attempting to take off Wednesday.

American flight 5320, bound for Gulfport, Mississippi hit a deer on takeoff and then immediately returned for landing, according to American Airlines officials. Officials say the plane was leaking fuel after the collision.

Officials say 44 passengers were on the plane during the incident. All of the passengers were safely removed from the plane, according to American Airlines. The airline said the passengers were taken back to the terminal and will be put on a new plane.

Passenger Antonio Bucca was on the plane at the time of the incident.

"We were just taking off and it kind of sounded like a tire popped almost," he said. "We ended up taking off and then they said we had to come back because we hit a deer."

Bucca says when they came back down they did a fly by. He's guessing that's because they wanted to access the damage.

"When we came down there were ambulances, fire trucks, cops, helicopters and they hosed down our plane," Bucca said. "After they hosed it down they brought us in and gave us food and now we're just waiting to see when we can get our bags."

When Bucca got off the flight he says he couldn't see much damage.

American Airlines released the following statement on the incident:

American Airlines flight 5320, operated by PSA Airlines, hit a deer upon takeoff from Charlotte Douglas International Airport at approximately 12:15 p.m. It was a CRJ-700 with 44 passengers and 4 crew on board headed to Gulfport, Mississippi (GPT). The airplane came immediately back to the airport and landed safely. There was fuel leaking from the aircraft, so passengers deplaned on the runway and fire trucks did hose the plane down. The passengers have been bused back to the terminal and will get a new aircraft.

Several incoming and departing flights were delayed as a result of the collision. Airport officials asked that all passengers check with their airline on the status of their flights.

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