AN Aer Lingus flight has been forced to return to Dublin airport after taking-off over fears a hare was sucked into the jet engine.
Flight EI582 departed Dublin Airport at 8.15am bound for Malaga in Spain with 287 passengers on board.
Shortly after take-off, the crew informed air traffic controllers that they believed they had struck two ‘rabbits or hares’ on departure.
This was followed by an inspection of the runway where at least one carcass was discovered. It was feared that a second dead hare may have been sucked into one of the plane’s engines.
The flight continued towards Malaga for a time but turned around 30 minutes after take-off just north of the French coast.
The flight returned to Dublin for a safe landing.
The crew did not declare an emergency but airport crews were standing by for the flight's return.
Engineers were also waiting to inspect the aircraft while a replacement plane will take the passengers to their destination later this afternoon.