Flights halted at Gatwick after emergency landing

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 16, 2012 6:38 PM

LONDON (Reuters) - London Gatwick, the capital's second-largest airport, was forced to close its runway temporarily on Monday after a Virgin Atlantic flight made an emergency landing, the airline and airport said.

The Virgin flight which was heading to Orlando in the United States was forced to turn back after the plane developed a problem.

"Due to a technical problem on board the aircraft, the captain decided as a precautionary measure to immediately evacuate the aircraft," Virgin said in a statement.

"Our teams at Gatwick are now looking after our passengers and assisting with their immediate requirements."

The Airbus A330-300 aircraft was carrying 13 crew and 299 passengers, the statement added.

On its Twitter website, Gatwick said the incident had forced the airport to close.

"Currently there are temporary delays to departing & arriving flights caused by an aircraft with technical issues on the runway," it said.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison)

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