British Airways Boeing 777 returns to Heathrow after ‘engine catches fire’ minutes after taking off

British Airways plane was forced to turn back to Heathrow after witnesses told how they saw flames rising from the engine.

The Boeing 777 turned back to the airport minutes after taking off amid reports of the aeroplane’s engine shutting down.

AirNav, a website that tracks flight paths in real time, shows the plane heading west from Heathrow and circling Maidstone in Kent before returning.

Airlive tweeted: “British Airways Boeing 777 (reg. G-VIIH) returning to Heathrow with engine #2 shut down.”

Witnesses at the London airport told how they saw that the aircraft had caught fire.

One wrote on social media: “I saw flames coming out of the right engine a few times. I could see the takeoff from the Cathay lounge.”

And another wrote: “It was covering a flight to Athens, flames seen coming from engine 2 and returning to Heathrow now.”

BA has since said the flight landed safely upon its return to the airport, and that its engineers are investigating the incident.

Heathrow did not wish to comment.