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Plane fault grounds passengers

British holidaymakers en route to New York have been stranded overnight in a small Canadian airport after making an emergency landing.

More than 250 passengers and crew on board Virgin Atlantic's flight VS25 from Heathrow had to make the unscheduled touch down at Gander Airport in Newfoundland after a technical fault believed to do with refuelling.

The plane will not be used to fly the passengers on to John F Kennedy Airport, a Virgin Atlantic spokeswoman said. Another aircraft is on its way to transport them, she said.

The airline is not able to say what caused the technical fault, the spokeswoman said, as engineers are currently performing tests.

The area surrounding Gander Airport is small and there were no available hotel rooms for passengers who had no option but to spend the night inside the terminal.

Passengers took to Twitter to report their plight.

Matt Roberts wrote: "Stuck at Gander Airport, Newfoundland.#Virgin 25 #Heathrow - NY put us here; claimed mechanical problems, then said it was low fuel #stranded."

Sara Davar added: "#Stranded @VirginAtlantic flight VS25 from LDN had to emergency land in Gander, Canada due to technical issues."

A company spokeswoman said on Sunday: "Virgin Atlantic can confirm that flight VS25 from London Heathrow to New York JFK has diverted to Gander due to a technical fault. All passengers and crew have remained at Gander overnight on 17th August and a replacement aircraft will take them to their destination today.

"The safety and welfare of passengers and crew is Virgin Atlantic's top priority. The airline would like to thank passengers for their patience and apologise for any inconvenience caused."

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