(Reuters) - A Southwest Airlines flight traveling to Nashville on Monday was forced to return to Los Angeles after a tire blew on the aircraft's landing gear during takeoff, the airline said.

Flight 2634 returned to Los Angeles International Airport shortly after taking off because of a mechanical issue with its landing gear, the airline said in a statement.

All 142 passengers on the flight got off the plane safely and were placed on another aircraft that was expected to land in Nashville four hours behind schedule, Southwest Airlines said.

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Paul Tait)