Four people were injured after a plane’s engine “exploded” just before take-off of a Swiss International Air Lines flight out of London City Airport.
The four suffered minor injuries in what airline officials are calling a “technical issue” and were treated at the scene.
All of the passengers on Swiss flight LX437 London City to Geneva had to exit the plane in an emergency evacuation.
A spokesman said there were 74 passengers and four crew on board at the time of the incident.
An airport spokeswoman said: “London City Airport can confirm that a technical issue occurred on board Swiss flight LX437 due to depart to Geneva at around 3pm on Thursday March 27.
“Seventy-four passengers and four crew were evacuated immediately and three people were treated at the scene for minor injuries by the London Ambulance Service.”
Following the problem the airport’s runway was closed for more than an hour.
Passengers were warned to expect disruption and immediately following the incident flights to Paris, Luxembourg, Rotterdam and Amsterdam were delayed.
Swiss International confirmed the Avro RJ100 aircraft had suffered an engine problem and the pilot aborted the flight.
A Swiss spokeswoman said: “The pilot aborted take-off at low speed due to an engine problem.
“Passengers and crew have been safely evacuated.”
The company have launched an investigation into the cause of the crash.
Passenger Mike Mompi, 28, who was flying to Switzerland for a skiing holiday, said the Swiss International Airlines Avro RJ100 was revving up on the runway, getting ready for take-off when it happened.
He said: “There was a large bang and flames which grew and grew and large chunks of what looked like chunks of red-hot metal started flying up.
“People started freaking out…
“Exploding engine a minor technical incident?! In about 20 seconds more we would have been in the air.”
The Air Accident Investigation Branch said in a statement: “The AAIB have deployed a team to investigate a serious incident (involving only minor injuries) at London City Airport.”
In a statement airport officials said: “London City Airport can confirm that a technical issue occurred onboard Swiss flight LX437, due to depart to Geneva at around 15.00 on Thursday 27 March 2014.
“Seventy-four passengers and four crew were evacuated immediately and three people were treated at the scene for minor injuries by the London Ambulance Service.
“The runway was closed temporarily and re-opened at 16.15.”
Though smaller that its London counterparts London City Airport still has more than 3 million passengers each year.