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Beijing-London BA jet crash-lands, 4 injured
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A British Airways plane on a flight from China crash-landed short of the runway at London's Heathrow Airport yesterday. Four people were slightly injured.



Fire engines smothered the Boeing 777 in foam after it landed with its wings extensively damaged and its undercarriage wrecked.


"I won the lottery today," Fernando Prado, one of the 136 passengers on board, said after being safely evacuated by emergency chute from the wreckage.


He said the landing gear appeared to fail. "I saw the engine on the tarmac. Everything was over quickly. There was no panic at all," he told BBC News.


An airport spokeswoman said: "BA Flight 38 arriving from Beijing made an emergency landing at 12:42. Passengers have been evacuated."




Airport authorities warned some flights would be delayed or cancelled. Normally, about 40 flights an hour touch down at Heathrow with a further 40 taking off.


The ambulance service said three people were slightly injured.


British Airways said it had no comment to offer on why the plane came down.


A London police spokeswoman said: "There is nothing to suggest it is terror-related."


Witness John Rowland told the BBC: "It crashed into the runway, debris was flying everywhere, there was an enormous bang and it skidded sideways."


The impact tore the undercarriage and damaged both wings.


Another eyewitness, Steve Bell, said the wheels were not down on landing, and he heard a grating noise.


"It turned about 90 degrees on landing. Its wheels were not down. Within minutes fire crews arrived and evacuated all the passengers," he told BBC News 24 television.


Among the planes delayed was a flight British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was taking on an official trip to China and India.


The plane was about 1 km away but those onboard could see the incident in the distance.


(China Daily via Agencies January 18, 2008)


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