BA jet in Heathrow emergency

PASSENGERS were involved in a scare at Heathrow Airport today when a British Airways jet arriving from Beijing reportedly landed short of the runway.Six fire engines rushed to the jet and reports say that the aircraft's emergency chute appeared to have been deployed.

PASSENGERS were involved in a scare at Heathrow Airport today when a British Airways jet arriving from Beijing reportedly landed short of the runway.

Six fire engines rushed to the jet and reports say that the aircraft's emergency chute appeared to have been deployed.

The aircraft appeared to have landed several hundred yards short of the southern runway - and just yards from a busy perimeter road.

The impact wrecked the undercarriage and caused extensive damage to both wings.

Scotland Yard said there were no reports of serious injuries. A spokesman also said there was no suggestion that terrorism was involved.

Flights, including Prime Minster Gordon Brown's to China, were held up while passengers were led to safety from flight BA38.

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A Heathrow spokesman said: “A British Airways flight arriving from Beijing carried out an emergency landing at 12.42pm. Passengers have been evacuated and there are currently no reported injuries.

“The Heathrow southern runway has been closed, but the northern runway remains open.'

The plane involved was a Boeing 777.

Mr Brown was himself travelling to Beijing for an official visit, accompanied by 25 leading businessmen including Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson.

Passengers on his aircraft were told that because of the runway incident there was no fire cover for the rest of the airport, meaning all the take-offs and landings were halted.

But an announcement on Mr Brown's plane said that additional fire cover should be available within “20 minutes or so”, allowing take-off to resume.

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