Plane takes off from Mitchell International and is turned around & sent back

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Mitchell International Airport officials tell FOX6 News a United Express plane had to be turned around and sent back to Mitchell after taking off on Monday, October 13th.

We're told the United Express Flight 4580 was headed for Newark -- and was turned around due to a possible mechanical issue. A United Airlines spokesperson tells FOX6 news the mechanical issue was related to tire damage.

The plane landed normally at Mitchell International Airport just after 8:00 p.m.

The plane was turned around shortly after it took off. The plane was carrying 49 passengers.

Passengers on board tell FOX6 News the takeoff was more bumpy than usual. One woman said she heard a popping sound. A passenger seated in the very back of the plane says he saw sparks.

"When I peered out of the window I saw sparks coming out of the engine. It wasn`t flames. It was just sparks. I immediately bolted to the front of the plane where the stewardess met me about halfway through. I whispered in her ear that I saw sparks coming from the engine and she said 'thank you - just go back to your seat, and put your seatbelt on,' and the captain shortly after that announced that we had an emergency and we`re gonna be landing back in Milwaukee," Dan Elmergreen said.

United Airlines has issued this statement to FOX6 News:

"We are working to re-accommodate our customers after the flight safely returned to Milwaukee because of a mechanical issue."

No further details have yet been released.

It does not appear anyone was injured.

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates.