A regional jet struck a deer when it was taking off in Charlotte, North Carolina, Wednesday, and subsequently was found leaking fuel, American Airlines said.
There were 48 people aboard the CRJ-700, operated by PSA Airlines as American Airlines flight 5320, when it hit the deer at Charlotte Douglas International Airport about 12:15 p.m. ET. It immediately returned to the airport instead of continuing to Gulfport, Mississippi, according to an American Airlines statement.
The crew found fuel leaking from the plane, so passengers were de-planed onto the runway and fire trucks hosed down the aircraft, the airline said.
A new aircraft was being brought to take the 44 passengers to their destination.
Deer strikes are not infrequent for planes in the U.S. There were over 1,100 deer-aircraft collisions reported to the Federal Aviation Administration between 1990 and 2015.