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Arsenal women evacuated after plane bursts into flame on runway

Arsenal's women's team were forced to evacuate their plane after it dramatically caught fire on the runway in Wolfsburg.

The team was travelling back from its Champions League semifinal against Wolfsburg via a chartered flight, when a bird is understood to have flown into the left engine during takeoff at Braunschweig Wolfsburg Airport.

It caused a loud bang and a fire to break out, forcing takeoff to be abandoned and the squad and support staff were evacuated onto a coach on the runway.

No one was injured in the incident and, after spending the night in a hotel locally, the team instead flew safely back to London.

"Our aircraft developed a technical issue prior to take-off in Germany," an Arsenal club statement read.

"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."

The scary scenes followed a whirlwind week for Arsenal, full of injury woes.

In the last seven days they have lost captain Kim Little and England captain Leah Williamson to season-ending injuries, and suffered a tough defeat to Women's Super League title rivals Manchester United that all but ended their chances of winning the league.

But they somehow managed to keep their Champions League hopes alive, recovering from a two-goal deficit against their German opponents to draw 2-2 thanks to goals from Rafaelle Souza and Stina Blackstenius.

Arsenal are aiming to reach their first Champions League final since they lifted the trophy in 2007.