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KU Men's Basketball Team Safe After Emergency Landing

Brock Fritz Headshot

A plane carrying the University of Kansas men’s basketball team was forced to make an emergency landing on Sunday.

The Swift Air 737 passenger jet had engine failure shortly after departing San Jose, Calif., for Kansas following the Jayhawks’ 72-56 win over Stanford.

“Upon our return flight home from San Jose, CA, roughly 20 minutes into the flight, one of the engines failed,” the Kansas athletic department’s Twitter account posted Sunday night. “The pilot immediately contacted the San Jose Airport where we returned and made a safe landing. We are grateful to the pilots and the entire flight crew of Swift Air. We will stay the night in San Jose and return to Lawrence once the plans have been finalized.”

Senior associate athletic director of development Ryan White shared a video of his view of the failure, which appeared to show flames coming from an engine. The plane returned to Mineta San Jose International Airport at about 5:30 p.m., citing an issue with the right engine.

“It was tense and it got very quiet,” director of athletics Jeff Long told NBC Bay Area. “I think people were on edge obviously, but the plane maintained a good altitude and level, and the pilots and the crew acted in a very professional way.”

Everyone landed safely at Topeka Regional Airport at about 5:55 p.m. Monday, according to the Butler County Times Gazette

"We're home here in Topeka. It feels good," Kansas head coach Bill Self told the Butler County Times Gazette. "The fact that we committed 14 turnovers in the first half (of Sunday's game) really didn't matter much last night or this morning.

"It was a relatively smooth ride back (to San Jose), just a little bit of vibration. But initially there was a pretty loud sound and certainly a lot of vibrations, and I think it did rattle us a little initially. But everybody was so calm. It turned out to not be as significant as what it could've been."

Swift Air, operated by iAero, is a charter service frequently used by sports teams.

Kansas, ranked third in the latest Associated Press poll, is 10-2 heading into a Jan. 4 home game against 16th-ranked West Virginia.

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