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Allegiant airliner returns to Las Vegas after engine problem

An Allegiant Air flight heading to Fresno, Calif., landed safely at McCarran International Airport shortly after takeoff Saturday afternoon after a pilot reported a mechanical issue, an airline spokesperson said.

The pilot had reported a fire in one of the plane’s two engines, said airport spokesman Chris Jones, clarifying that it didn’t necessarily mean that the engine caught fire. The airline blamed it on a stalled compressor in the left engine.

“The engine was not shut down and remained operational and the engine fire suppression system was not required,” an Allegiant Air spokesperson said via email.

Flight 514, a Boeing 757, landed safely about 15 minutes after takeoff, Jones said.

Fernanda Corral, of Las Vegas, said she and her family were eating in the patio of a restaurant about 2 miles north of the airport about 4 p.m. when eaters heard loud “booms” similar to fireworks and saw flames coming from an airliner. Corral said they saw no smoke.

“We can’t speak to what some people may have witnessed, but can confirm that there was no fire in the engine,” the airline spokesperson said.

Clark County Fire Department officials who inspected the airliner after it landed told Jones there was no evidence of fire or smoke.

The flight took off about 4:05 p.m. and landed without incident shortly before 4:20 p.m., Jones said.

There were no injuries to the flight’s 153 passengers and seven crew members, the airline said. “The safety of our passengers and crew is always our top priority.”

A replacement airliner was scheduled to depart about 7:15 p.m., the airline said. Passengers had the option of changing their flight to a later time or receive a refund.

Allegiant has been in the news lately. One of its planes piloted by two airline executives that was heading from Las Vegas to the Hector International Airport in Fargo, N.D., on July 23 made an emergency landing because it was almost out of fuel. And the airline and its pilots’ union have been at odds over a labor contract.

Review-Journal writers Christopher Kudialis and Richard N. Velotta contributed to this report. Contact Ricardo Torres at rtorres@reviewjournal.com and 702-383-0381. Find @rickytwrites on Twitter.

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