LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Part of the cover ripped away from one of the engines on a Frontier Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Tampa, forcing the airplane to circle back for an emergency landing Friday at McCarran International Airport.

The piece, called a cowling, came loose during takeoff and separated from the plane. Once the pilots realized what happened, they immediately declared an emergency and landed the plane safely just before 7:30 a.m.

The Airbus A320 had 166 people on board, including passengers and crew members.

“The engine continued to operate normally and the aircraft, an Airbus 320, landed safely," Frontier Airlines Spokesperson Allison Redmon told 10News. "Safety is our top priority at Frontier Airlines, and we would like to acknowledge the professionalism of our pilots and flight attendants. We are working to get our passengers to their destinations as quickly as possible.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the 10News app now.

Have a news tip? Email desk@wtsp.com, or visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.