A plane has hit a deer departing Charlotte-Douglas International Airport Wednesday afternoon, according to FAA officials.
FAA officials said that PSA Airlines 5320, a CRJ 700 aircraft returned to the airport about 12:15 p.m. after declaring an emergency. The crew reported striking a deer on take off from Runway 36 Center shortly before noon.
The flight was headed to Gulf Port, MS, according to the flight schedule. Airport officials said Runway 18L-36R is closed. The rest of the airport is open and operational.
Forty-four passengers were on board at the time, according to officials with American Airlines. All people on board have been evacuated and passengers are being bussed back to the terminal, officials said.
Officials said they were spraying down the runway after fuel began to leak from the plane onto the runway.
Charlotte-Douglas International Airport has had 245 wildlife strikes since January 1, 2015 and 941 strikes since January 1, 2010, according to the FAA. Most of the animals hit were birds and coyotes. The last time a deer was struck by a plane at the airport was on Oct. 15, 2010.