A British Airways flight from Heathrow to Lyon was forced to turn back shortly after take-off because of an ‘engine surge’ in the air.

British Airways said flight BA0364 touched down safely, adding that the aircraft would be “thoroughly checked over by engineers”.

The airline said in a statement: “A flight experienced what’s known as an ‘engine surge’ as it took off from Heathrow, but it has now returned and touched down safely.

“We train our pilots to the very highest standards including how to respond to these type of events, and the engine was immediately shut down.”

The airline said passengers on the flight would be given hotel accommodation overnight and rebooked to fly today.

The southern runway was closed for about 16 minutes, an airport spokeswoman said.

A witness told the BBC that flames were “spitting out of the engine” as the aircraft took off at about 21:00 GMT on Thursday.