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Heathrow Airport runways closed after plane emergency

Friday, 24 May 2013 00:00

Both runways were closed at Heathrow Airport after a British Airways (BA) plane made an emergency landing, the airport has said.

All passengers and crew were "safely evacuated" from the plane following an engine fire at about 09:00 BST.

In a statement, BA said: "The BA762, Heathrow to Oslo service, returned back to Heathrow shortly after take-off due to a technical fault."

The southern runway has reopened. The northern runway remains closed.

BA said the Airbus A319 was carrying 75 passengers - who were safely evacuated - and a "full investigation" would be conducted into the incident.

John Coghlan told the BBC he saw a "black smoke trail" from the engine of a British Airways Airbus A319.

He said: "[It was a] safe landing and passengers evacuated by chutes on runway."

Jez Stamp, from Farnham in Surrey, who was on a plane waiting to take off to Jordan, said: "I could see smoke on the right engine.

"We just saw it come to a halt and fire engines were already there waiting for it and they immediately started hosing the plane down."

London Fire Brigade tweeted: "One crew from Heathrow fire station is assisting Heathrow Airport's fire service with an aircraft fire.

"We believe the fire is now out."

Rob Brownell, 33, saw the plane from Imperial Wharf Station in central London and told the BBC flames were "clearly visible".

He said: "There was this almighty rumbling overheard - I looked up and saw the plane on fire. There were flames coming not just from the engine but lapping the wing.

"My initial thought was, my God this thing is going to blow up - the wings are full of fuel so I couldn't see how there could not be an explosion."

He added: "It left a black smoke trail in the sky and there was a smell of aviation fuel afterwards."

According to the website planefinder.net, the plane turned over Potter's Bar and Billericay before returning returning to Heathrow.

Heathrow said that 23 flights had been diverted as a result of the incident.



Source: BBC