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Las Vegas flight bound for St. Louis rerouted to McCarran after mid-air emergency

A Southwest flight outbound from Las Vegas had a mid-air emergency Wednesday, forcing the plane to divert back to McCarran International Airport from its initial route.

The flight was headed for St. Louis when pilots believed something struck its tail, airport spokeswoman Christine Crews said. Pilots also believed one of the plane’s tires was blown during the incident, which happened while the plane was over Arizona.

The plane rerouted back to Las Vegas “out of an abundance of caution,” where it circled in the air nearby before landing at McCarran at about 2:13 p.m., Crews said.

Of the 181 people on board, no one was injured. County firefighters and ground crews — who were on scene for the landing — also noted none of the plane’s tires was blown.

It’s unclear whether or not something did strike the plane’s tail or why pilots believed something had; Southwest technicians began inspecting the plane to figure out what happened once fire crews gave the all-clear for safety.

“After an uneventful landing and normal taxi back to the terminal, our maintenance crews checked the aircraft out and cleared it to return to service,” Southwest said in a statement.

The flight was supposed to land in St. Louis about 12:47 p.m. central time. The same plane later took off from McCarran about 5 p.m., also headed to St. Louis.

Contact Rachel Crosby at rcrosby@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290. Find @rachelacrosby on Twitter.

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