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Heathrow closes – TWO planes diverted to Manston

Flights have been diverted via Manston Airport from Heathrow today after a plane was forced to make an emergency landing.

Both runways were closed when the British Airways plane caught fire in mid-air shortly after taking off this morning. Two diverted British Airways A320 aircraft – en route to Heathrow from Helsinki and Budapest – landed at Manston.

Both flights will return to Heathrow when permission is granted by London Air Traffic Control. Manston
Airport chief executive Charles Buchanan said:

“We were pleased to
help, and even more pleased that the incident ended safely for all
concerned. I’d
just like to thank all the team at Manston who handled these two
flights, as well as the passengers arriving and departing on the
scheduled KLM service to and from Schiphol, Amsterdam this morning.”

All passengers and crew from Heathrow flight were safely evacuated and the fire brigade said the blaze has been put out. Heathrow’s two runways were closed before one re-opened later in the morning. Other flights were diverted via Stansted and Cardiff. A statement from British Airways said:

“The BA762, Heathrow to Oslo
service, returned back to Heathrow shortly after take-off due to a
technical fault. The Airbus A319 aircraft was carrying 75 customers. The aircraft landed safely and emergency slides were deployed and we are currently caring for our customers. Emergency services attended the aircraft. We will be carrying out a full investigation into the incident.”

kentonline 24th May 2013

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