Fire on aircraft forces Heathrow emergency landing
A British Airways flight to Oslo had to return quickly to Heathrow for an emergency landing after black smoke began spilling out of one of its engines. Passengers and people on the ground clearly saw flames coming from the engine and “lapping the wing” as the plane flew over central London.
Both runways were closed for several hours as the plane landed and passengers and crew left the aircraft using emergency chutes. Three people on the Airbus A319, which was carrying 75 passengers, suffered minor injuries.
One passenger on the plane described “a loud popping sound” about eight minutes into the flight. “The captain came on very calmly, said he was aware of the situation and that everything was running normally and he was going to run some tests to see what the right course would be. Then another five minutes after that there was a loud sound, and this time the right engine was clearly on fire. I mean big flames, very visible from the rest of the cabin, and lots of black smoke.”
The passenger said that the cabin and ground crews were “outstanding and completely calm”.
As many as 192 flights were cancelled from Heathrow Airport on Friday as a result, most of which were BA flights.
[pictured: BA 747 takes off at Heathrow; courtesy oneworld]