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Nairobi bound British Airways flight was forced to abort the journey mid-air, dump fuel and turn back to Heathrow Airport in London following a technical hitch after landing gear got stuck.

According to sources, the Boeing 747 left the airport an hour later than scheduled before the problem ensued.

The Daily Mail reports that the plane’s nose gear became stuck after take-off. The plane then had to circle the area at around 8,000ft, dumping fuel so it could land again.

British Airways said the plane had a ‘minor technical issue’ and was returning to Heathrow as a precaution.

“The aircraft has a minor technical issue and is returning to Heathrow purely as a precaution. We apologise to customers for the disruption to their journey and we aim to have them on the way again soon,” said a British Airways spokesman who is yet to be named, as quoted by Daily Mail.

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A video shared online shows some of the passengers taking a video as the plane dumps fuel. Some passengers remain calm while others appear nervous.

By the time of going to press, the plane was yet to land or official communication issued by the company, British Airways.

In case of a problem, planes must dump fuel before landing as a fuel-laden plane is too heavy to land safely. Fuel dumping happens at high altitude where it is able to dissipate preventing it from reaching the ground in liquid form.

The 747 left Heathrow Airport at 11:23am and was expected to land in Nairobi, Kenya slightly before 8pm UK time (5pm Kenyan time).

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