15 hurt after emergency landing
A plane has been forced to make an emergency landing at Gatwick Airport, leaving 15 people in hospital.
Passengers suffered a range of injuries, including suspected fractures and cuts, as they escaped Virgin Atlantic Airbus A330 using the emergency chutes.
Passenger Tom Aldridge told the BBC: "The people panicking as they were jumping off were throwing themselves out of the plane down the chute and there was a big pile of bodies at the bottom where people were just landing on top of each other and there were quite a few injuries."
And fellow passenger Kirsty Bonwick told radio station LBC: "A lot of people were hurt scraping their arms and legs and elbows and bleeding ... you think you're going to stop at the end of the chute and then get up, but you go flying off of it and you just went across the concrete, which is why everybody cut their arms and legs and were bleeding."
There were reports of a small fire on board as the Florida-bound plane came in to land two hours after it had taken off just before 11am.
Steve Ridgway, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, said the flight, carrying 301 adults and three children, was not far out of London when the technical alarms went off on the flight deck. He said the captain made the decision to turn the aircraft around and fly back to Gatwick. He added: "We carried out an emergency evacuation, which was the right thing to do."
Dr Jane Pateman, South East Coast Ambulance Service medical director, said: "A total of 15 patients were transferred to hospital, 14 of which went to two major trauma centres, at St George's Hospital and Royal Sussex County Hospital, suffering from suspected fractures."
Flights in and out of Gatwick were suspended from the time of the emergency landing until around 2pm, with a number of incoming flights diverted - some to Stansted Airport in Essex.
Virgin Atlantic said that most of the passengers were intending to fly to Orlando on Tuesday: "We are working closely with the authorities to establish the cause of this incident. The safety and welfare of our crew and passengers is our top priority."
Virgin Atlantic president Sir Richard Branson said on Twitter: "Very sorry to all passengers on board VS27. The staff @virginatlantic are doing everything they can to look after everybody. More info soon."
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