WATCH: Plane's engine spits fire after bird strike

- A United Airlines flight from Chicago to Miami had to return to O'Hare International Airport after its engine caught fire when it apparently struck a bird.

United Airlines spokeswoman Erin Benson says Flight 1738 shut down one of its engines Thursday morning after reporting a bird strike. The Chicago Aviation Department says the plane departed about 7:45 a.m. and reported the engine issue after takeoff. Benson says the plane landed safely at O'Hare.

The airline switched planes and the flight departed Chicago again at 10:40 a.m., landing safely in Miami.

"It sounded like a huge thud and then a continual ‘thud, thud, thud, thud, thud,’ and the engine was spewing fire, and there was smoke in the cabin,” a passenger recalled after landing.

“It was the smell of smoke that was the most scary,” another passenger offered.

Benson said the airline will reach out to customers "to compensate them for the inconvenience."

"They took care of us, and we're here,” a smiling passenger added.  “That's all that matters."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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