Flights at Gatwick Airport were suspended following a Virgin Atlantic flight being forced to make an emergency landing citing technical difficulties, forcing over 300 people to evacuate the plane using slides. Four passengers suffered injuries, the company said.

The Virgin VS027 left the West Sussex airport and was destined for Orlando but was halted after just two hours after smoke was seen in the cockpit.

Passengers were evacuated by the emergency services according to a spokeswoman for Gatwick airport.

Liam Moore, a passenger on the flight, told the BBC that passengers were "really shaken up".

He said: "We were on the plane and everything seemed fine.

"Then the pilot came on the tannoy about 10 minutes into the flight and said we would have to do an emergency landing.

"It all happened so quickly. We landed and suddenly all the doors flung open and the emergency slides were inflated.

"We then had to slide down the shoots, some people got cuts and grazes from the slide."

She added: "It has made a safe emergency landing.

"The emergency services are on the scene and the aircraft is safe and passengers are being disembarked."

A statement from Virgin Atlantic also emerged which confirmed that the flight was forced to make an emergency landing at Gatwick.

It said: "Due to a technical problem on board the aircraft, the captain decided as a precautionary measure to immediately evacuate the aircraft.

"Our teams at Gatwick are now looking after our passengers and assisting with their immediate requirements."

The airline confirmed the Airbus A330-300 had 299 passengers and 13 crew on board.

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