British Airways flight lands short of runway at London Heathrow Airport
Thursday, January 17, 2008
A British Airways flight from Beijing to London with 152 people on board has landed short of the runway at Heathow airport near London. One hundred and thirty six passengers and sixteen crew have been evacuated from the plane and thirteen people are reported to have sustained minor injuries.
Reports suggest that the cause of the incident was a "total loss of power and avionics" in the plane, meaning that the pilot had to glide the plane towards the runway area.
Witnesses said the plane flew low on its approach, touched down on grass short of the runway and came to a halt on its belly at the edge of the runway. Passengers were quickly evacuated by emergency chutes as emergency vehicles surrounded the plane. The plane's undercarriage broke off during the landing and both wings as well as the starboard engine are badly damaged.
In a press statement, BA said it is "very proud" of the way its staff - three flight crew and thirteen cabin crew - safely evacuated passengers with only six minor injuries resulting.
The southern runway has been closed for operations and has resulted in all European short haul flights from Terminals 1, 2 and 3 being cancelled. Passengers travelling by Heathrow have been advised to check their flight status before arriving at the airport.
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