Emergency landing briefly shuts down Heathrow

A British Airways Airbus A319 surrounded by emergency vehicles after it had to make an emergency landing at Heathrow Airport, May 24, 2013. Press Association/AP

LONDON An emergency landing at London's Heathrow Airport forced officials to close both runways at the busy international hub Friday morning, but all passengers and crew were evacuated safely from the British Airways jet.

British Airways said in a statement that an Airbus A319 carrying 75 passengers destined for Oslo, Norway, was forced to turn around not long after takeoff due to a "technical fault."

"The aircraft landed safely and emergency slides were deployed and we are currently caring for our customers," BA said in the statement, adding that a full investigation into the incident would be carried out.

Officials gave no indications that terrorism was suspected.

One of Heathrow's runways was quickly reopened, but the other remained shut as emergency services attended to the disabled aircraft, which was seen trailing smoke from an engine as it returned to Heathrow. Reports on British media suggested the plane had hit a bird.

  • Tucker Reals

    Tucker Reals is the CBSNews.com foreign editor, based at the CBS News London bureau.

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