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A British Airways (BA) aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing at 12.42 today (17 January).
A BA spokeswoman told ABTN: ”A British Airways Boeing 777 operating as flight BA38 from Beijing to London has been involved in an incident at Heathrow.
”We are not going into details, but the cabin crew have done an excellent job of evacuating all 136 passengers on board, with three minor injuries.”
Heathrow”s emergency services were at the scene immediately, and though it is not clear what happened, television footage shows the aircraft stricken on a grassy area which precedes runway 27L, with emergency chutes deployed and surrounded in foam.
That runway is closed, but the northern runway is currently operating.
The grassy area immediately preceding the runway has two long gouges stretching hundreds of metres, while the aircraft has come to a stop at a slight angle to the right of the runway threshold.
Weather at the time was 6C with SSW winds of 18mph, while visibility was moderate.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Virgin chairman Sir Richard Branson, were on an aircraft ready to leave for China when the incident occurred.
That flight has not left yet, and it is likely there will be delays to other flights.
BA has given a number for friends and relatives to call - 0800 3894 193.