updated 8/7/2009 9:34:49 AM ET 2009-08-07T13:34:49

An Alaska Airlines jet blew a nose tire during takeoff but returned safely to Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday afternoon.

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The pilot of Alaska Flight 6 reported a possible blown nose gear tire just after taking off for Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and declared an emergency, said Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

The jet's tires were then checked during a flyby, said Alaska spokeswoman Caroline Boren.

The Boeing 737-800 landed without incident, and one of the two nose wheel tires was found to have failed.

The tire was being replaced on a taxiway and checks were being made to determine the underlying cause, Boren said.

It was not immediately known if the flight would resume with that aircraft or a replacement.

Boren said the passengers were expected to reach Washington National by midnight.

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