A British Airways aircraft thought to have been struck as it approached Heathrow airport was probably not hit by a drone, according to the government.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin told MPs the incident was no longer thought to have involved a drone, the BBC reported.

Police started an investigation after the pilot of the flight from Geneva on April 17 reported an object had struck the front of the aircraft.

It was thought to be the first drone collision with an aircraft in the UK.

The Airbus A320, which landed safely, was carrying 132 passengers and five crew as it approached the airport.

The Metropolitan Police said at the time that the aircraft was hit by a drone at about 1,700ft while flying over the area of Richmond Park in London.