A British Airways plane was forced to make an emergency landing at Heathrow Airport today trailing plumes of smoke from an engine. Eyewitnesses have seen a plane ‘on fire’ flying over central London, reports British media.
Both of London Heathrow Airport’s runways were closed Friday morning after a British Airways plane made an emergency landing, Europe’s biggest airport said.
Television footage showed smoke trailing from the aircraft while it was airborne, and British Airways later blamed a technical fault. The London Fire Brigade said it had assisted Heathrow fire crews with an airplane fire.
The Airbus A319 returned to Heathrow shortly after it had taken off on a flight to Oslo and all 75 passengers on board were safely evacuated, it said.
Evacuation chutes were deployed from the plane.
One of the runways was reopened short time after the closure, but travellers at Heathrow were told to expect flight delays.
There was speculation that the aircraft had run into a flock of birds.
Passengers on resumed flights at Heathrow were being warned to expect delays of 30-60 minutes as well as 30 minutes of aircraft taxiing time.
Eyewitness Steve Fryer told the BBC – “I saw the right engine was on fire, flames were coming out of it”.
One person told Sky News: “As you looked up you could just see the flames being chucked out of the engine …. It was on full fire when we saw it.”