Thomson flight makes emergency landing. Picture: Eric Jackson.
A Thomson Airways flight from Bournemouth to Tenerife has made an emergency landing at Gatwick Airport.
Flight TOM6248 suffered a bird strike as it took off from Bournemouth Airport shortly after 8.00am this morning.
The plane circled several times over Bournemouth before being diverted to Gatwick.
The flight landed safely.
Passenger Eric Jackson wrote on twitter: "There was a thud on takeoff from the left engine and heavy vibrations it was obvious something had happened.
"A seagull went right through the engine and shattered the core of the engine, according to pilot."
A pilot on the flight revealed a seagull had hit one of the plane's engines and showed passengers the remains in a plastic bag. Pictures: Eric Jackson.
Passengers were transferred to another plane.
A spokesman from Thomson Airways said: "Thomson Airways is sorry for the delay caused to passengers on board flight TOM6248 from Bournemouth to Tenerife.
"The aircraft has diverted to London Gatwick as a precautionary measure following a suspected bird strike.
"The plane landed safely and we are working to make sure that customers will be on their way to Tenerife as soon as possible.
"The safety of our passengers and crew is of paramount importance and we would like to reassure customers that issues of this nature are very rare."