A small fire on board a Virgin Atlantic flight from New York to London forced the aircraft to make an emergency landing in Boston last night.

The crew extinguished the fire, which a preliminary investigation suggested could have started with a phone charger that ignited between passenger seats, Massachusetts Police reportedly said.

“Preliminary investigation suggests it is a battery pack consistent in appearance with an external phone charger,” a police spokesman said.

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All 217 passengers as well as the crew were safely evacuated from the Airbus A330 after landing. One passenger refused treatment for a smoke-related complaint.

A Virgin Atlantic statement said the flight was bound for Heathrow at the time.

The airline said it was “currently investigating” what led to smoke appearing in the cabin.

“The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority and we are currently investigating to fully understand the circumstances,” an airline spokeswoman said.

“We’d like to thank our customers for their patience as we work with them to provide local accommodation or to rebook alternative flights to their final destination.”

It was the second emergency landing at Boston’s Logan International airport on Thursday.

An American Airlines aircraft from Chicago declared an emergency when a cockpit light indicated an unspecified potential mechanical problem as it approached the city, but it landed without incident.

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