A British Airways plane had to return to Heathrow Airport with smoke billowing from the aircraft.

With eyewitnesses reporting seeing an engine on fire, the Airbus A319 plane made an emergency landing, with the 75 passengers and crew all safely evacuated via the emergency chutes.

London Ambulance Service later reported that three people had been treated for minor injuries from the flight, which had taken off from Heathrow for Oslo.

Both the northern and southern runways at Heathrow were closed after the incident, although flights were able to resume shortly afterwards from the southern runway.

Eyewitnesses described seeing smoke coming from the plane, with the right engine on fire.

A BA statement said: "BA762, Heathrow to Oslo service, returned back to Heathrow shortly after take-off due to a technical fault. The Airbus A319 aircraft was carrying 75 customers.

"The aircraft landed safely and emergency slides were deployed and we are currently caring for our customers. Emergency services attended the aircraft. We will be carrying out a full investigation into the incident."

There was speculation that the aircraft may have run into a flock of birds, but there was no official confirmation of this.

Bird strikes are a serious problem for aircraft and have been known to bring planes down.

Following the incident, passengers on resumed flights at Heathrow were warned to expect delays of up to an hour and extended aircraft taxiing times.

British Airways has cancelled all its short-haul flights in and out of Heathrow until 4pm.