Saudi World Cup team´s plane suffers engine fire


The plane caught fire due to a "minor technical malfunction in an engine". They said the fire was "merely an accident" and were quick to clarify that the plane was not owned by the team and was provided to them by the International Air Transport Association.

Flight operator Rossiya Airline blamed a bird strike for sparking the fire, but insisted that "nothing threatened the safety of the passengers" and that the landing "took place in routine fashion".

A video on the social media account of Saudi local paper Al Yaum showed flames issuing from under the plane's starboard wing against the dark backdrop of the sky, with the wing glowing bright orange. The Saudi team was seen calmly leaving the plane on its way to the team hotel in Rostov.

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The Saudi Football Federation posted videos the playing filmed re-assuring the public that they landed safely and no one was hurt in the incident.

"Of course, we were a bit frightened, but thank God", he added, laughing.

Saudi Arabia are making their first World Cup appearance since 2006 and are the second-lowest ranked team at the tournament behind hosts Russian Federation, who they lost 5-0 to in their opening match in Moscow on Thursday.