UPDATE 1-U.S. senator's plane makes emergency landing, all safe

Mon Jan 6, 2014 6:25pm EST

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WASHINGTON Jan 6 (Reuters) - A United Airlines flight carrying U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham was forced to make an emergency landing at a South Carolina airport on Monday shortly after taking off on a flight to Washington, but all the passengers were safe.

The Republican senator said he and other passengers noticed the aircraft's engine making a strange sound about five minutes after takeoff from Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.

"Not long afterwards, the pilot declared an emergency and we headed back to the airport," Graham said on the Twitter social media service.

He said fire trucks and other emergency crews were at the ready when the flight landed.

The Greenville News reported on its website that the United Flight to Washington's Dulles International Airport was carrying 40 passengers, including Graham, and that the pilot had noted an oil indicator light.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot reported a cockpit indication of a possible issue with the right engine and that the flight landed safely about half an hour after takeoff. (Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Cynthia Osterman)

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