( dpa ) - Three passengers suffered minor injuries when a British Airways (BA) Boeing 777 flying into London from China landed short of the runway at London's Heathrow airport Thursday.
Passengers were led to safety as a major emergency operation got under way and witnesses reported seeing smoke coming from the plane's underbelly.
BA confirmed that there had been an "incident" involving flight BA38 from Beijing but would give no further details.
Witnesses said the plane hit the ground with a "big impact and a loud noise."
Six fire engines rushed to the scene, as the aircraft's chutes were lowered.
"A British Airways flight arriving from Beijing carried out an emergency landing at 12:42 pm. Passengers have been evacuated and there are currently no reported injuries," a spokesman for Heathrow airport said.
However, emergency services said that three people had been assessed for minor injuries. Pictures showed damage to the plane's underbelly and one of its wings.
A plane due to take Prime Minister Gordon Brown to China was caught up in the delays as one of Heathrow's two runways was closed.