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Allegiant flight declares emergency at St. Pete-Clearwater airport

An Allegiant Air flight made an emergency landing at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport Wednesday after suffering a mechanical problem, according to WFLA-Ch. 8.

An Allegiant spokesperson confirmed for the station that Flight 871 from Moline, Ill., made the emergency landing at the Pinellas County airport, its scheduled destination, at 12:19 p.m. The airline apparently did not identify the nature of the mechanical issue that caused the emergency nor say how many passengers and crew were aboard.

The airline told WFLA that the plane landed safety and that it is investigating the mechanical problem.

Allegiant officials did not respond to requests for comment.

The Las Vegas headquartered airline has encountered a series of emergency landings and other maintenance issues during the last year and has been accused by its pilots' union of skimping on safety. The airline denies doing so and says Allegiant is one of the safest airlines in the nation.

The airline carries about 95 percent of the passenger traffic at the St. Pete-Clearwater airport, which reported a record 1.6 million passengers in 2015.