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British Airways passengers hail "hero" pilot

 British Airways passengers hail "hero" pilot
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All 152 passengers and crew escaped safely after a plane crash-landed at London’s Heathrow Airport.

British Airways flight 38 from Beijing touched down on the grass, short of Heathrow’s south runway.

The passengers got out using the plane’s inflatable slides. Some suffered minor injuries.

BA chief executive Willie Walsh said it’s not clear what caused the incident:

“There is a formal investigation being conducted by the Air Accident Investigation branch of the Deaprtment for Transport,” he said. “British Airways is cooperating fully with that investigation.”

The plane, a Boeing 777, is known as a hardy, dependable airliner. Some reports said the pilot had a problem with the undercarriage as he entered final approach, others that he lost all power, yet he still managed to put the plane down safely.

The Prime Minister Gordon Brown was preparing to fly out of Heathrow at the time. His flight was delayed for about an hour, but then took off as the airport re-opened.