Northern Ireland

Plane diverted to Belfast International Airport shortly after takeoff

BA plane
Image caption The British Airways plane landed safely as Belfast International Airport

A British Airways flight from Belfast City Airport to Heathrow was diverted to Belfast International Airport shortly after take-off on Tuesday night after the pilot declared an emergency.

A British Airways spokeswoman said it was diverted as a precaution.

The plane, with 108 passengers on board, circled the International for a time before landing safely.

One of those on board, Justin Hames, said passengers were told there was a problem with an engine.

"As the wheels were going up, we heard the bang and that's pretty much it," he said.

"To begin with they didn't say anything - they didn't want to cause any concern - and then they said it was a small problem with the engine."

Alan Whiteside, operations director at Belfast International Airport, said: "Everything went smoothly, our own police and fire service on site here responded, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, the PSNI, the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service all attended as a routine.

"But nobody was required to take any other action - the aircraft landed safely thankfully."

Image caption Emergency services were sent to the airport ahead of the landing