Lonely Planet Writer

Pope’s plane struck by laser beam over Mexico

A plane carrying Pope Francis was struck by a laser over Mexico City as it was landing in the country where the Pontiff has spent the last five days after a visit to Cuba.

Pope Francis boards his plane for his return trip home, at Abraham Gonzalez International Airport in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. Francis is on his way back to Italy after a five-day visit in Mexico. His plane took off from the border city of Ciudad Juarez after night fell Wednesday.
Pope Francis boards his plane for his return trip home, at Abraham Gonzalez International Airport in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. Francis is on his way back to Italy after a five-day visit in Mexico. His plane took off from the border city of Ciudad Juarez after night fell Wednesday. Image by AP Photo/Ivan Pierre Aguirre

Alitalia airlines was operating the charter plane and said in a statement that cockpit crew members noticed a laser coming from the ground as they were flying towards Mexico City. The captain reported the incident to the control tower, and it is standard procedure for them to report the occurrence to the local authorities. No one was injured and the plane landed safely.

Pope Francis looks at his watch as he arrives for an outdoor Mass in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. Pope Francis is scheduled to wrap up his trip to Mexico on Wednesday with some of his most anticipated events: a visit in a Ciudad Juarez prison just days after a riot in another lockup killed 49 inmates and a stop at the Texas border when immigration is a hot issue for the U.S. presidential campaign.
Pope Francis looks at his watch as he arrives for an outdoor Mass in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. Pope Francis is scheduled to wrap up his trip to Mexico on Wednesday with some of his most anticipated events: a visit in a Ciudad Juarez prison just days after a riot in another lockup killed 49 inmates and a stop at the Texas border when immigration is a hot issue for the U.S. presidential campaign. Image by AP Photo/Gregory Bull

However, there was no answer as to whether the flight carrying the Pope was targeted, reports CNN.

There have been increased reports of laser strikes on planes, which can temporarily impair the vision of a pilot or cause more serious eye injuries. On Sunday, a New York-bound plane was forced to turn back to Heathrow after it was struck with a laser and the co-pilot reported feeling unwell.

Read more: Pilots urge lasers crackdown after Virgin Atlantic plane forced to turn back