Page last updated at 18:31 GMT, Monday, 2 February 2009

Plane slips at Heathrow taxiway

The Cyprus Airways plane
No passengers were hurt in the incident

A plane has slipped off a taxiway at Heathrow Airport, lodging its front wheel in a grassy area.

Snow and ice are being blamed for the incident which happened when the Cyprus Airways flight 332 landed at 0820 GMT and was moving to Terminal 1.

Heathrow's operator, BAA, said passengers were unharmed and were evacuated from the aircraft.

A BAA spokesperson said the front wheel of the plane had landed in the grass area and was being removed.

The aeroplane was the last flight to land before both the runways at the airport were closed due to snow earlier on Monday, however the southern runway has since reopened.

British Airways cancelled all its flights but said it hoped limited long-haul departures would resume in the evening, conditions permitting.

'Safe landing'

A BAA spokesman said the flight from Larnaca had made a "safe landing".

"All passengers on board the plane are being transferred by bus to the airport terminal," he said.

"There were no injuries to any passengers."

The snow fall has been the heaviest in decades and has meant that our operation is even finding it difficult to find empty space to put the snow
BAA spokesman

He also warned people to check before they travel as "adverse weather conditions" are leading to "significant delays and cancellations".

"Heathrow's full snow operation (consisting of 58 snow cutters, ploughs and de-icers) has been working around the clock since 1500 GMT yesterday on double shifts to clear the snow and ice.

"The snow fall has been the heaviest in decades and has meant that our operation is even finding it difficult to find empty space to put the snow."

London City Airport has also been closed and a spokeswoman said the runways have not been operational since Sunday evening.

Record snowfall

Attempts to the clear the runway, where snow was up to 20cm deep in places, had been hampered by continuous snowfall.

The spokeswoman said: "The snow has stopped at the moment and they are attempting to clear the runway and as soon as that is achieved we will be able to reopen.

"But the snow keeps falling every time that we try and clear it."

London has seen the heaviest snowfall in 18 years with up to 6cm (just over 2ins) of snow reported at Heathrow Airport, weather experts said.

The conditions led the Met Office to issue an extreme weather warning for the south-east of England.

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The plane slipped in the heaviest snow the south-east has seen in 18 years



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