US & Canada

Plane fire: Virgin Atlantic flight makes emergency landing

A Virgin Airways aircraft is pictured at Heathrow Airport in October 2016 Image copyright Getty Images

A Virgin Atlantic flight has made an emergency landing in Boston after a fire broke out on board.

The plane was travelling from New York to London on Thursday night when the fire started, forcing the crew to divert the flight.

No major injuries were reported and all 217 passengers were safely evacuated from the aircraft at Boston's Logan International Airport.

Police believe a mobile phone power bank may have caused the fire.

Bomb disposal officers inspected the aircraft after it landed and found a device between the cushions of the seat where the blaze started.

"Preliminary investigation suggests it is a battery pack consistent in appearance with an external phone charger," a police spokesman told reporters.

Image copyright Maria
Image caption Fire crews boarded the plane after it landed

That was disputed by one passenger, Maria, who told the BBC she had been speaking to her friend when his seat caught fire. She rejected reports that a phone charger had been the cause.

"It took about two minutes to put it out," she said.

While no-one suffered major injuries, one passenger refused treatment for a "smoke related complaint".

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Media captionA mobile phone in flames on board a plane

Virgin Atlantic confirmed in a statement that the flight had been diverted to Boston "due to reports of smoke in the cabin".

"Our crew responded immediately and the plane has landed safely", it said,

The airline added that it was investigating the incident to "fully understand the circumstances".

An American Airlines flight also made an emergency landing at the airport earlier on Thursday after a cockpit light indicated an unspecified potential mechanical problem as it approached Boston.