Faulty alarms caused Virgin Atlantic emergency

A faulty alarm system forced a Virgin Atlantic plane to make an emergency landing earlier this week, the company said Friday.

The airline said that an investigation into the incident — when a plane flying from Britain to Orlando, Florida, returned to London's Gatwick Airport for an emergency landing — showed that a series of alarms went off during the flight, prompting the crew to decide to return to the airport.

It said the investigation found that the alarms had gone off unnecessarily and that there had been nothing wrong with the plane, an Airbus 330-300.

Spokesman Greg Dawson said in a statement that aviation authorities and the plane's manufacturer had carried out a full inspection of the aircraft and said it was safe to fly again.

The flight took off at 10:48 a.m. (0948 GMT, 5:48 a.m. EDT) Monday morning and landed safely back at Gatwick just under two hours later.

The airport was closed for more than 90 minutes as more than 300 people on the stricken plane used emergency slides to get to safety

Fifteen people were hospitalized with injuries.