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Jun 19, 11:00 AM EDT

Southwest Airlines plane hits birds in Florida

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- A Southwest Airlines flight bound for Houston returned to Tampa International Airport after striking a flock of birds.

Officials say a small piece of the plane's left wing came off after hitting the birds about 4 miles north of the airport Wednesday morning.

Tampa airport spokeswoman Emily Nipps says the pilots didn't feel comfortable staying on course. No one was injured, and everyone was booked on another flight.

Nipps told The Tampa Tribune (http://bit.ly/1lCcyKT ) that officials suspect the plane hit either egrets or seagulls. She says the plane is in a Tampa airport maintenance hangar, where it will be repaired.

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