June 19 (UPI) — A plane carrying the Saudi Arabia World Cup team caught fire in mid air while traveling to Rostov-on-Don, Russia.
No one was hurt in the incident and the plane landed safely on Monday. Saudi Arabia faces Uruguay in a Group A match at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Rostov Arena.
“The Saudi Arabian Football Federation would like to reassure everyone that all the Saudi national team players are safe, after a technical failure in one of the airplane engines that has just landed in Rostov-on-Don airport, and now they’re heading to their residence safely,” the Saudi Arabian Football Federation said in a statement.
Videos of the incident showed portions of the plane’s right wing on fire.
Saudi players filmed videos for the team’s Twitter account to assure their fans of their safety on Monday night.
“We arrived safely and we are all fine … it was a simple malfunction,” Hatan Bahbir said.
The Russian Rossiya airline was carrying the team from St. Petersburg, according to the Guardian and CBS News. An investigation is already underway.
Rossiya Airlines released a statement regarding the incident on Tuesday.
“Rosaviatsiya will investigate the circumstances and causes of the incident involving all interested sides, including the developer and manufacturer of the engine,” the statement said, according to TASS.
The airline said the failure was caused by a bird strike.
Russia beat Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening game of the 2018 World Cup on Thursday in Moscow.