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British Airways flight makes emergency landing in N.L., suspected fire in cargo area

FILE -- In this Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017 file photo, British Airways planes are parked at Heathrow Airport.
FILE -- In this Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017 file photo, British Airways planes are parked at Heathrow Airport. Canadian Press/Photo/Frank Augstein

A British Airways flight with 209 people on board was forced to make an emergency landing in St. John’s, N.L., early Tuesday after crew detected heat in a cargo hold.

Police say they were called to St. John’s International Airport just after 1 a.m. local time before the transatlantic flight from New York landed.

They say they were responding to a report of heat and a suspicion of fire in the cargo area of the Boeing 777 passenger jet.

READ MORE: British Airways flight diverted after videos capture plane rocked by high winds in Gibraltar

The plane landed without incident at about 2:30 a.m. local time after leaving JFK International Airport in New York bound for London’s Heathrow airport.

The website for JFK International Airport indicated British Airways flight 174 was diverted to St. John’s.

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“There was an issue with the aircraft, a Boeing 777,” a spokesman for British Airways said in an email, without offering any details on the nature of the issue. “Our engineers will be looking into the cause.”

WATCH: British Airways flight diverted to Winnipeg

British Airways flight diverted to Winnipeg
British Airways flight diverted to Winnipeg

He said the passengers were sent to a hotel after they arrived in St. John’s and that another aircraft would be dispatched from Heathrow to pick them up and “get them on their way as soon as possible.”

Sara Sullivan, a spokeswoman with the St. John’s airport, said several agencies were involved in the response, including the airport authority’s emergency response team, police, Eastern Health and the St. John’s Regional Fire Department.

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