Virgin Atlantic flight back in UK after 'laser incident'

Baku, February 15 AZERTAC

A flight heading to New York turned back to London Heathrow Airport after a laser beam was shone into the cockpit, Virgin Atlantic has said.

The crew told air traffic control there was a "medical issue" with one of the pilots after the laser hit flight VS025 after take-off at 20:13 GMT on Sunday.

The flight was grounded overnight, and the 252 passengers put up in hotels.

Shining a laser at a plane can be a criminal offence. There have been no arrests, but police are investigating.

In a recording from the cockpit which was published online, a crew member is heard telling Irish air traffic that the incident took place six to seven miles west of Heathrow.

Virgin Atlantic said the flight returned to the west London airport as a "precautionary measure" after the co-pilot reported feeling unwell.

The airline apologised to passengers for any inconvenience caused, and said it was working with the authorities to identify the source of the laser.

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