WATCH: Atlas Air Boeing 747-8 cargo plane engine catches fire mid-air

“Softball-sized hole” above aircraft’s engine forced emergency landing at Miami International Airport

Atlas Air Boeing 747-8 cargo plane’s engine number 2 on flames. — X/@ChuckCallesto

A massive Atlas Air Boeing 747-8 cargo plane, Flight 5Y095, experienced an “engine malfunction” mid-air en route to Puerto Rico from Miami International Airport (MIA), according to an airline official.

The plane, with its engine on fire, was forced to make an emergency landing, returning to MIA, and landed safely within an hour, an Atlas Air spokesperson told Fox News.

The Boeing 747-8 cargo plane, departed from MIA on Thursday at approximately 10:11 pm ET and soon began experiencing an engine malfunction.

“The crew followed all standard procedures and safely returned to MIA,” the statement read, noting safety is the company’s top priority. Atlas Air also said it will be conducting a thorough inspection to determine what caused the malfunction.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said its post-flight inspection revealed a “softball-sized hole” above the aircraft’s engine number 2.

The plane, with five crew members, was bound for the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport in Puerto Rico.

However, no injuries were reported, according to Reuters, which also reported that several witnesses saw flames coming from the plane’s left wing.

Six Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) units responded to MIA and “were on standby for landing,” MDFR said.

According to FlightAware data, the Boeing 747-8 aircraft involved in the incident never climbed above 3,800 ft. during the abruptly ended flight.

Earlier this month, an Alaska Airlines MAX 9 airliner made an emergency landing after it took off from Portland, Oregon, as part of its fuselage broke off.

The incident prompted the FAA to temporarily ground certain aircraft for safety checks.

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