Runways reopen after emergency at Heathrow Airport

May 24, 2013 9:50:30 AM PDT
A British Airways jet made an emergency landing at London's Heathrow Airport Friday after developing a technical problem after takeoff. TV footage showed smoke streaming from one of the engines.

Airport officials briefly closed both runways at Europe's busiest airport, causing delays. They later resumed operation, but passengers were advised to check their flight status.

British Airways said it was canceling short-haul flights in and out of Heathrow until 4 p.m. (11 a.m. EDT) so that it could "stabilize our schedule."

Heathrow officials said passengers were evacuated safely from the stricken plane. Footage broadcast on British television showed the plane in the air with smoke pouring from one engine.

British Airways said the Airbus A319 was carrying 75 passengers and crew and that it had just taken off from Heathrow on a flight to Oslo, Norway.

The airline added an investigation is underway.

The jet was surrounded by fire vehicles after it landed, and passengers and crew used evacuation slides to leave the plane. London Ambulance Service said it treated three people for minor injuries.

Eyewitness Baba Sariffodeen, who filmed video of the plane as it approached Heathrow, said he could see dark smoke coming from one of the engines. Sariffodeen, who studied aeronautics, said he suspected a fuel problem might have been the cause.