Passengers who were aboard the Swiss International flight LX437 to Geneva which had to abort take-off when an engine exploded reacted angrily to claims by London City Airport that what occurred was a "minor technical incident".

74 passengers and four crew-members had to be evacuated from the RJ100 aircraft and there was reportedly panic as passengers tried to leave the aircraft, leaving four people slightly injured.

Mike Mompi, a London-based social impact investment adviser who works for Impact Investment in the capital, said the plane was "just firing up for takeoff on the main runway" before the explosion happened:

"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."

Flights to Amsterdam, Paris, Rotterdam and Luxembourg were affected by the incident and an investigation is underway. A Swiss International spokeswoman said:

"The pilot aborted take-off at low speed due to an engine problem. Passengers and crew have been safely evacuated."

On its website London City Airport later said:

"Business is returning to normal at London City Airport following an earlier technical incident onboard Swiss flight LX437, which was due to depart to Geneva at 14.55 on Thursday 27 March 2014. 74 passengers and four crew were evacuated immediately. Three people were treated by the London Ambulance Service at the scene for minor injuries sustained during evacuation. As per standard procedure, the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) will report on the cause of the incident in due course."

However Mompi, who was flying to Geneva for a skiing trip, said on Twitter:

"Exploding engine a minor technical incident?! 20 seconds more we'd been in the air."

The runway had to be closed for more than an hour following the incident, which comes five years after a BA flight from Amsterdam crash-landed with 71 people on board when a wheel failed. Four people were treated for minor injuries in that incident, which also featured a RJ100.