BA plane in emergency landing drama

BA plane in emergency landing drama

A British Airways plane had to return to Heathrow airport today with smoke billowing from the aircraft.

After an emergency landing, the 75 passengers and crew were all safely evacuated from the Airbus A319 which had taken off from the west London airport for Oslo.

With emergency services standing by, the passengers and crew used emergency chutes to leave the plane. There were no injuries.

Both the northern and southern runways at Heathrow were closed after the incident, although flights were able to resume shortly afterwards from the southern runway.

Clip via Videos4news on YouTube.

A witness, named only as Aiden, said he was driving to Heathrow and had to ``hit the brakes'' as he was worried debris might fall from the plane.

He told LBC 97.3’s Nick Ferrari: “I thought to myself it was just the swirl of the wingtips and then I thought it was just too much for one side and I realised it was smoke.

“The plane’s coming right over the top of my head and I’ve had to brake because when I saw the right-hand starboard engine, it’s just all blackened ... I didn’t know if anything was going to fall off it.

“I’ve had to hit the brakes to make sure we don’t coincide.”

Witnesses described seeing smoke coming from the plane, with the right engine on fire.

Clive Cook, who lives on the Heathrow flight path, told Sky News: “The actual engine itself was on fire.

“This plane was coming over and suddenly the tone of the engine changed dramatically, and I could almost say it sounded as if it was like a blowout, or an explosion.

“I’m absolutely certain that as it came through the clouds, and I looked up ... the right engine was on fire. It wasn’t smoking it was actually on fire.”

Mr Cook said he saw the plane over the Thames at Battersea as he was taking his daughter to nursery.

Another witness, who was working in his garden near Stamford Bridge, Chelsea, said it was “the type of thing you see on Seconds From Disaster”.

Jamie told Sky News: “All of a sudden we heard this almighty noise. It was like a fire jet going over. We could just see the right engine on fire – it was absolutely horrendous to see.

“You don’t see things like that every day, it’s incredible really. Your thoughts are with the people. If we could hear it that badly then what were the people going through on that plane?”

Jamie said he thought the plane was a few thousand feet above the ground.

He added: “It was below the clouds at this stage. To see an aircraft on fire - it wasn’t good to watch. It’s the type of thing you see on Seconds From Disaster, or something like that. It’s just crazy to see really.

“There were loads of flames coming from the back of the engine, the right engine, as it was coming over the top of us.”

There was speculation that the aircraft might have run into a flock of birds but there was no official confirmation of this.

Bird strikes are a serious problem for aircraft and have been known to bring planes down.

Following today’s incident, passengers on resumed flights at Heathrow were warned to expect delays of up to 60 minutes and extended aircraft taxiing times.

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