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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 12 November, 2019

London to New York flight forced to turn around after laser is pointed at it

Police are investigating the incident.

A VIRGIN ATLANTIC flight from London to New York has been forced to return to Heathrow Airport after a laser beam was pointed at the plane.

VA2 File photo Source: PA

Sky News reports that audio of the plane’s exchange with air traffic control describes one of the pilots having a “medical issue” following the incident, which occurred six or seven miles west of Heathrow.

Virgin confirmed Flight VS025, which took off just before 8pm yesterday, had been abandoned as a “precautionary measure due to a laser beam incident”.

All the passengers are safe, but will have to wait until 1pm today to fly out.

A Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman said: “The safety of our crew and customers is our top priority and we apologise for any inconvenience to those on board.

All customers will be offered overnight accommodation and we will get them on their journey as soon as possible. We are working with the authorities to identify the source of the laser that caused the return of the aircraft to Heathrow.

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson told the Evening Standard confirmed that they were contacted at approximately 9.35pm yesterday “following reports of a laser shone in the direction of a commercial flight that had taken off from Heathrow Airport”.

“Inquiries continue to establish where the offence took place. There have been no arrests.”

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Órla Ryan

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