Laser strike hits plane headed for Oregon; flight lands safely

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MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — An Allegiant Air spokeswoman says a crew member on a Medford, Oregon-bound flight had to seek medical attention after a New Year’s Day laser strike hit him in the eye.

The Mail-Tribune reports that airline spokeswoman Jessica Wheeler says Flight 558 from Los Angeles landed safely. She says the flight was approaching the southern Oregon airport when the plane’s first officer was hit. Wheeler says the man was taken to a local physician to be cleared to fly. She did not know his condition.

The newspaper says the plane had been scheduled for an 8:30 p.m. Thursday departure for Las Vegas that had to be pushed back to Friday morning.

Wheeler says the airline filed a report with local law enforcement and will cooperate with the Federal Aviation Administration and FBI “on any investigation they may do.”

FBI Portland spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele said she couldn’t confirm whether the agency’s Medford agents would be taking part in the investigation. She says the agency “does have the ability to investigate laser strikes.”

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